Duke's Mike Krzyzewski Discusses Becoming 1st Coach to Win 1,200 Career Games

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMarch 21, 2022

GREENVILLE, SC - MARCH 20: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils and head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans talk before their game during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 20, 2022 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The Duke men's basketball team survived a tough test Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament, holding off Michigan State 85-76.

It not only kept the Blue Devils alive in the tournament and kept the final season of Mike Krzyzewski's coaching career alive, but it also was the 1,200th win of Coach K's historic career. No other coach in Division I history has ever reached that milestone.

"Turning around and seeing all my grandkids right behind the bench and they are crying and they're cheering. Wow. I mean, god bless, how lucky,"  Krzyzewski told reporters after the game. "I mean, it's so good. It's so good. So 1,200 is great. But that scene was better."

Add it to the list of Coach K's accomplishments. He's led Duke to five national championships, 12 Final Fours, 13 ACC regular-season championships, 15 conference tournament championships and 36 NCAA tournament appearances.

ESPN @espn

All smiles for Coach K šŸ˜Š <br><br>2ļøāƒ£6ļøāƒ£ Sweet 16 appearances, the MOST in NCAA MBB history! <a href="https://t.co/bjxhh6F2i6">pic.twitter.com/bjxhh6F2i6</a>

"I'm proud of the fact that we've been there for four or five, for four decades, that we're at least knocking on the door and five times the door completely let us in," Krzyzewski said. "I got guys who want to win and our goal is to win the whole thing all the time, even if we're young."

He also won gold medals as the head coach of the men's national team at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

But his legacy will be most closely tied to his time at Duke, where he's now gone 1,127-308. He also coached Army from the 1975-76 to 1979-90 seasons, going 73-59 at the school.

"The 1,200 wins is substantial," he said. "Obviously, it's a lot of wins, but it's a lot of wins against quality competition. And that's what I'm most proud of. It's not just the number of wins, it's the competition we've had in order to win. Today was a good example of it."

NCAA March Madness @MarchMadnessMBB

ā€œIā€™m really proud to be your coach. It all had to do with heart.ā€ šŸ„ŗ<br><br>Coach K fights back tears after <a href="https://twitter.com/DukeMBB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DukeMBB</a>ā€™s W over MSU. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchMadness?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MarchMadness</a> <a href="https://t.co/rxGNu96kSn">pic.twitter.com/rxGNu96kSn</a>

The second-seeded Blue Devils will have a tough road to add four more wins to Coach K's record and earn him a sixth national title. They'll have to go through a scrappy Texas Tech team Thursday, and Drew Timme, Chet Holmgren and No. 1 seed Gonzaga might be waiting for the Blue Devils in the Elite Eight.

So Coach K's curtain call might not end in a bow. But he's had plenty of those in his career already.