Mike Krzyzewski biography, facts, career, awards, net worth, and life story

You are currently viewing Mike Krzyzewski biography, facts, career, awards, net worth, and life story

Michael William Krzyzewski ( shih-ZHEF-skee;[1 popularly known as “Coach K” born on February 13 1947) is a famous American former basketball coach in the NCAA tournament. He was Head Coach at Duke University from 1980 to 2022. During that time, he took Duke’s Blue Devils to five national championships and 13 Final Fours. He also won fifteen ACC tournament championships and thirteen ACC regular season championships. As a coach for men’s basketball in college the UCLA coach John Wooden has won more NCAA championships, winning 10 titles in all. Krzyzewski is widely recognized as one of the top college basketball coaches ever.

Krzyzewski has also been the coach of as a coach for the United States national team, that he helped lead to 3 golds in the 2008 2012 and the 2016 Olympics. He was director of the U.S. team that won gold medals at the 2010 and 2014. FIBA World Cup, and as an assistant coach for”the “Dream Team” in the 1992 Olympics.

Krzyzewski was a guard in Army from 1966 until 1969 under the guidance of coach Bob Knight. From 1975 until 1980 his position was head coach at his former school. In addition, he is an inductee twice to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001, for his coaching career as an individual while in 2010, as part of the group recognition of”the “Dream Team. “[6 He was admitted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 and into it was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2009 (with the “Dream Team”).

On the 15th of November, 2011 Krzyzewski played Duke to a victory of 74-69 against Michigan State at Madison Square Garden to become the coach to win more wins NCAA Division I men’s basketball history. Krzyzewski’s 903rd win set the record for the first time, breaking the previous record set by former head coach Bob Knight. On the 25th of January in 2015. Duke beat St. John’s by 77-68 on the same night at Madison Square Garden, as Krzyzewski became the first Division I men’s coach to surpass 1,000 wins.

In June of 2021 Krzyzewski declared that he was going to quit his position at the conclusion of the 2021-22 football season.

Childhood and early life

Krzyzewski was born in Chicago The child of Polish American parents Emily M. (nee Pituch) and William Krzyzewski. The family was raised as an Catholic, Krzyzewski attended St. Helen Catholic School in Ukrainian Village, Chicago and,[11later, Archbishop Weber High School in Chicago which was a Catholic preparatory college for young men.

His graduated from West Point, his school, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1969. He was a basketball player under Bob Knight. As captain, he was part of the Army basketball team during his final season, 1968-1969, and led his team of Cadets towards winning the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in Madison Square Garden in New York City in which West Point finished fourth.

From 1969 until 1974, Krzyzewski was an army officer within the U.S. Army and directed teams of service during three seasons. The year 2005 was the time he received West Point’s Distinguished Graduate Award. [13]

Coaching profession

Indiana and Army

He was relieved of active duty in the year 1974 with his rank being captain and began working as an assistant coach coach on Knight’s team with his team, the Indiana Hoosiers during their historic 1974-75 season. After a brief stint with Indiana, Krzyzewski returned to West Point as head coach at the age of 28. In his five seasonsas head coach, he managed his Army Cadets to a 73-59 (.553) record, and an NIT place in the NIT in 1978.


Krzyzewski interviews reporters following having been named coach of Duke on March 18, 1980.

Krzyzewski coaching during the 2013 game

On March 18 in 1981, Krzyzewski became the coach of Duke University after five seasons in Army. After a couple of years of rebuilding and a few rebuilding seasons, Duke Blue Devils became a fixture in the national basketball arena by securing the team earning 35 NCAA Tournament berths in the last 36 years, and 24 consecutive tournament appearances from 1996 until 2019, which is the second longest current streak of appearances in the tournament, second only to Kansas and has been in the tournament for 30 consecutive years. In all, he’s taken his team to postseason play during 36 of his 39 seasons in Duke in addition to being the highest winning coach in the men’s NCAA Tournament play with a 100-30 record, which is an .769 percent of wins. In his time, the Duke teams have taken home fifteen ACC Championships, been to 12 Final Fours and also won 5 NCAA Tournament National Championships.

Krzyzewski was treated for the damaged disk back in the month of October 1994, however, he insisted on going back to the sidelines for the 1994-95 campaign, with a stool specially designed to prevent him from getting on his feet. But the pain was so severe that he could not go for a few days without sleeping throughout the season. At the beginning of ACC practice the pain had gotten to the point where the player was unable to continue. After starting the game for ACC game, Krzyzewski told his players and coaches that they were taking leave and that his long-time coach Pete Gaudet serving as interim head coach until the end period of season. In fact, he had thought of resigning and resign, but the athletic director Tom Butters persuaded him to take an absence instead. According to long-standing NCAA guidelines, Duke only credits the initial twelve games to the player. He credits the rest part of the campaign to Gaudet. A few years later, Krzyzewski said that he probably wouldn’t have made it out of basketball had he not been able to endure that season, as it helped him realize that it was time to be more efficient with his time and assign more responsibility. [15]

In February of 2010 Krzyzewski was the coach for his 1,000th win as Duke Head Coach. On March 20, 2011, Krzyzewski won his 900th game, becoming the 2nd coach in three Division I men’s basketball coaches who have 900 wins in basketball with the other two being Jim Boeheim at Syracuse and the director of the team at Army, Bob Knight. On November 15, 2011, Krzyzewski got his 903rd victory, surpassing Knight’s record for the most Division I wins. In an interview with both players on ESPN the night prior, Krzyzewski discussed the leadership techniques he learned from Knight as well as in the United States Military Academy. Knight was adamant that Krzyzewski’s comprehension of himself as well as his teammates as the main reason for his achievements throughout the years. [19]

On the 25th of January of 2015. Krzyzewski was awarded his 1000th win when Duke beat St. John’s in Madison Square Garden. He was the first male coach to achieve more than 1,000 NCAA Division I basketball games.

In April of 2015 Krzyzewski took home the fifth time for his team at an NCAA championship, as Duke beat Wisconsin in the final game.

In the finals against Yale during the 2015 NCAA tournament on the 19th of March, Krzyzewski became the all-time most successful coaching staff in the NCAA Division I tournament, with 90 wins in total.

On the 11th of November in 2017, Krzyzewski scored his 1,000th victory as a member of his team, the Duke Blue Devils, making him the first head coach to win 1,000 games in only one NCAA Division I men’s basketball program. [n 1]

On the 17th of March, 2018, Krzyzewski won his 1,099th game of his career, surpassing Pat Summitt for most wins by an NCAA Division I coach either male or female. [20]

On February 16 2019 Krzyzewski took home his 1,123rd win to become the most successful coach in the history of college basketball regardless of the level (men’s and women’s) surpassing Harry Statham of Division II McKendree University. [21]

The 2nd of June, 2021 Krzyzewski made it clear that he would be retiring after the season 2021-22. 22 Krzyzewski played his last match at home on March 5 in 2022, against the rival North Carolina in which Duke fell by 94-81. [23]

National team

The team of Krzyzewski’s had three gold medals consecutively during the Olympics while he was the director of coaching for the USA national men’s team. Other international awards for his coaching include silver medals in 1987’s World University Games, a bronze medal at the 1990 FIBA World Championship, Silver medals during the 1990 Goodwill Games, a bronze medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, and gold medals at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, the 2010 FIBA World Championship, and the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

He also served as an assistant coach on USA teams that took home gold medals in 1994 and the 1992 Olympics and 1978 Pan American Games, and the 1992 Tournament of the Americas.

The year 2005 was the first time he was named coach of the team for to the Olympics. In 2006, at the FIBA World Championship, the USA were awarded the bronze medal following a loss in the semi-finals to Greece and then beating the in the final to defend Olympic champion Argentina to finish third.

On the 24th of August of 2008 Krzyzewski’s U.S. team won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “The Redeem Team” finished the competition with an unbeatable 8-0 score. He was the head coach of for the U.S. team for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and led Team USA to a perfect 9-0 win over the host Turkey at the Gold Medal game at 81-64. The team also won an Olympic gold medal in London and defeated runners-up Spain with a score of winning 107-100. Krzyzewski has amassed a score with a score of 75-1 (.987) as the head coach for his team, the USA National Team. [24]

In February of 2013, Krzyzewski stepped down after seven years as the coach of the national team. Team USA in May announced that he was returning as head coach beginning in 2013 until the year 2016. [26]

NBA coaching opportunities

Through his lengthy tenure as a coach at Duke, Krzyzewski has been offered the chance to be a coach for the NBA at minimum five times. The first was after the 1990 season , during which he was instrumental in leading his Blue Devils to their third consecutive Final Four appearance. In the 1990 season, Boston Celtics offered a coaching job to Krzyzewski however, he swiftly rejected the offer. In the following year, Krzyzewski proceeded to lead the Blue Devils to the first of two consecutive national championships. The year 1994 saw him chased by the Portland Trail Blazers, but once again, he decided to remain at Duke. In 2004 Krzyzewski was also questioned with his team the Los Angeles Lakers following the departure of the well-known Coach Phil Jackson. He was offered an offer in writing by Lakers director of operations Mitch Kupchak, reportedly for five years, 40 million, and a share of ownership however, he was again rejected by the NBA. In 2010 it was reported that the New Jersey Nets were reportedly willing to pay Krzyzewski between $11 million to $15 million per season to be the coach of the Nets. Krzyzewski turned down the offer, and stayed at Duke. [27In 2011 Krzyzewski received an offer for the position of coach for Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota Timberwolves, but he turned down the offer and decided to stay at Duke. [28]

Awards and distinctions

Krzyzewski holds Bob Knight after his 903rd victory


  • Five-time NCAA Champion 1991, 1992, 2001and 2010. and 2015.
  • A three-time Naismith College Coach of the Year 1989 (1989, 1992, 1999).
  • 12 times ACC Regular Season Champion 1986, 1991 1992 1994, 1997 1998 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2001. 2010,
  • 15 times ACC Tournament Champion – 1986 1988, 1992, 1999 2000, 2001, 2002 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 2011 and 2017. 2019, 2019.
  • A five-time ACC coach of the year 1985 1986, 1997 1999 2000
  • The two times United States Sports Academy Amos Alonzo Stagg Coach Award winner (91, 2008). [29][30]
  • Court for basketball located at Cameron Indoor Stadium was named “Coach Court K Court”

USA Basketball

  • Five times coaching of Olympic Gold Medal winning teams: 1984 1992 (assistant coach) 2008; 2012, 2016, (head coach)
  • Double FIBA World Cup Gold Medal winner – 2010 and 2014
  • Two-time FIBA World Cup Bronze Medal winner – 1990, 2006

Halls of Fame



  • 2013. Chicago History Museum Making History Award
  • Award given to the United States Military Academy named the “Coach Krzyzewski Teaching Character through Sports Award”
  • Inducted as an Honorary Fellow from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois and was awarded an Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest award) in 2014 by Governor Illinois in 2014, in the area of sports. [34]
  • Recipient of The Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1995. [35]

Charity and family

Mickie, Mike, Jamie, Lindy, and Debbie Krzyzewski in the year 1986.

Krzyzewski got married to his wife, Carol “Mickie” Marsh in his Catholic Chapel located at West Point on the day of his graduation in the year 1969. There are three daughters, and 10 grandchildren. In the words of The Wall Street Journal, she was the sole person who convinced him to resign during the 1994-95 season , when the coach was suffering from ruptured disk. 16] She even was able giving her husband an ultimatum that if you wanted to go home on what would turn out to be his last day as a coach that season the coach had to miss practice and visit the doctor. His son, Michael Savarino, was an in-season walk-on at Duke for the 2019-20 season.

Krzyzewski as well as his extended family created his family founded the Emily Krzyzewski Center which is a non-profit organisation located in Durham that was founded in the year 2006, and was named in honour of Krzyzewski’s mother. The purpose of the center is to inspire pupils from kindergarten to high school to think large, act with conviction and purpose, and fulfill your potential to become leaders within their communities. Its K to College Model serves students who are academically focused through out-of-school programs designed to help them excel academically, get to the college system and end the vicious cycle of economic poverty that plagues their families. Krzyzewski as well as his spouse, Mickie has also been involved for a long time in the field of fundraising and supporting The Duke Children’s Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network as well as and the V Foundation for Cancer Research. In all of these organizations, they have been chairpersons or lead significant fundraising initiatives. Additionally to that, the Krzyzewskis have contributed significantly for Duke University in supporting a variety of initiatives, such as creating endowments to support students from North as well as South Carolina as well as being a Duke student-athlete each year. He is also as a member of the advisory board for the Code of Support Foundation, an non-profit military service organization.

As of 2012 Krzyzewski won his U.S. Basketball Writers’ Association’s Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award honoring his community service and charitable efforts to make a positive contribution to the society.