Duke Basketball: Can Any Current Coach Match Krzyzewski's Win Total?
Mike Krzyzewski is the winningest D-1 college basketball coach of all time.
With Duke's defeat of Michigan State last night, Coach K surpassed his mentor, Bob Knight.
Krzyzewski now has a record of 903-284, winning 76 percent of his games over 36 years (plus three games this season). That translates to winning 25 games a year for more than three-and-a-half decades.
Not knowing how many wins that Krzyzewski will add to "the 903," the question arises: Does any current college basketball coach have even the slightest chance of catching him?
Is the bar too high for anyone to clear it? Is this an unreachable goal?
Here are five of the most likely candidates with an estimate of what they would need to do over the next couple of decades to catch Coach K.
Short on Time?
The next two active coaches after Krzyzewski are Jim Boeheim (Syracuse: 856 wins, 66 years old) and Jim Calhoun (UConn: 855 wins, 69 years old).
The problem for them is that they are older than Coach K (64 years old) and will probably not outlast him.
Bob Huggins (West Virginia) is next on the active list with 691 victories, but he has just turned 58.
Roy Williams (UNC: 61 years old) has 643 wins, and Bo Ryan (Wisconsin: 63 years old) has 629.
Rick Pitino just hit the 600-mark. He just turned 59.
As successful as each of these men are, Father Time is working against each of them being able to catch and pass Krzyzewski.
At 42 years old, Sean Miller is considered one of the most outstanding young coaches in college basketball.
He has successfully led teams at both Xavier and now at Arizona.
Going into this season, Miller had been the head coach at these two schools for a combined seven years, with a record of 167-70 (70.4 winning percentage).
If Miller coached another 25 seasons, he would need to average 30 wins per season just to catch up to where Krzyzewski is today.
Thad Matta is a great college coach. Starting this season (his 12th), Matta's record was 292-88 (76.8 winning percentage, averaging 24 wins per season).
He has never had less than 20 victories in a season, and twice has surpassed the 30-win total.
Bottom line: To even come close to Coach K, Matta, who is 44, would have to average 30 wins per season over the next 20 years.
Very few coaches of any age have had the success that Billy Donovan has had at Marshall and Florida.
The 46-year-old head coach of the Gators has two NCAA Championships to his credit and, going into this season, 395 victories.
If Donovan coaches until he's 66, he would need to average 26 wins per season over those next two decades.
So far, Donovan is averaging 21 wins per season over the first 17 seasons of his coaching career.
Bill Self runs a great program at Kansas.
Under his leadership, the Jayhawks are a top team virtually every year.
With coaching stops at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois before arriving in Lawrence, Self has compiled an impressive 444-151 record in 19 seasons—a little more than 23 wins per season.
At 48 years old, if Self coached another 20 seasons, he would have to, at least, maintain his current level of success for those two decades to come close to catching the K.
Not an easy task.
Many have suggested that Brad Stevens is the "next Coach K."
He is an exceptional coach who has had great success at a young age.
Currently 35 years old, Stevens has (going into this season), 117 coaching wins on his resume and a 81.9 winning percentage, including consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship game the last two seasons at Butler.
In his first four seasons, Stevens has averaged 29.5 wins per year.
If Stevens coached until he was 70 (which is not very likely), he would have to average over 22 wins per season.
The number of victories per year isn't so daunting. The fact that he would have to accomplish that consistently over the next three-and-a-half decades is.