Coach Mike Krzyzewski Career Highlights

posted April 6, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Connor Fenix

After coaching his final game in a 81-77 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Final Four, coach Mike Krzyzewski had to reflect on his outstanding 42-year career with the Duke Blue Devils.

Although his tenure did not start out like he would have hoped, the Duke legend ended his coaching career at Duke with an excellent 1,196-365 record.

After coaching famous names like Christian Laettner, JJ Redick, Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving, Brandon Ingram, and Zion Williamson, Coach K’s career will forever be cherished in the hearts of Duke fans and players alike.

After over 900 wins, five national championships, six Olympic gold medals, and 12 Final Four appearances, here are some of Coach K’s most memorable career highlights with the Duke Blue Devils.

November 30, 1980 - Coach Krzyzewski’s first game

In his first game as head coach, Mike Krzyzewski’s squad fell to Stetson 67-49 in what would mark a new era for the Duke men’s basketball program.

March 10, 1984 - ACC Tournament Upset

After North Carolina finished a perfect 14-0 in conference play, the Blue Devils looked poised to make their mark and add to their intense rivalry with the Tar Heels.

After falling to North Carolina twice in the regular season, Duke shocked the Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament, 77-75, to propel Duke to the NCAA Tournament for the first time under Mike Krzyzewski.

March 15, 1985 - First NCAA Tournament win

After dropping his first NCAA tournament game to Washington, 80-78, Coach K would come back a year later to earn his first win in the Big Dance.

Duke took care of Pepperdine in a 75-62 victory, giving Coach K his first of 101 NCAA Tournament wins.

March 29, 1986 - Coach K’s first Final Four appearance

This matchup would mark Duke’s first Final Four appearance under Coach K.

The Blue Devils did not disappoint, as they narrowly defeated Kansas, 71-69, to face Louisville in the title game.

This was the start of Coach K’s legacy as head coach of the program, as Duke would go on to appear in six of the next seven Final Fours.

March 31, 1990 - Duke begins Championship Game run

In its second Final Four appearance in three years, Coach K matched up against coach Nolan Richardson and his dominant Arkansas squad, handing the Razorbacks a 97-83 loss.

The win kickstarted a memorable run in which Duke would earn its right to three straight national championship games.

April 1, 1991 - Coach K’s first national championship

The first of five national championships came for Mike Krzyzewski just under 11 years as head coach of Duke.

The win would come against Kansas and ironically, Roy Williams. Duke would win this matchup 72-65 behind a stellar performance from MOP Christian Laettner.

March 28, 1992 - “The Shot”

One of the most memorable and iconic moments in all of sports, Coach K saw his squad prevail in a 104-103 overtime victory against Kentucky.

After a full-court pass from Grant Hill, Christian Laettner received the ball from around the foul line, turning around and hitting a jump shot just as time expired.

The intensity from this matchup propelled Duke to secure wins over Indiana in the Final Four and Michigan in the championship, giving Coach K his second-straight.

24 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances

From 1996-2019, Coach K holds the longest streak in NCAA history for tournament appearances.

Duke surpassed UNC legend Dean Smith’s previous record from 1975-1997.

The streak could have been kept alive, but a cluster of COVID-19 cases within the program caused the Blue Devils to miss the NCAA tournament in 2021 for the first time since 1995, not counting the tournament cancellation in 2020.

April 6, 2015 - Coach K’s fifth and final NCAA Championship

In what would be Coach Krzyzewski’s final championship, Duke ousted the Wisconsin Badgers in a thrilling 68-63 victory.

Led by Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, Duke utilized its talented roster to outscore the Badgers by 14 points in the final 13 minutes.

Coach K improved to 4-0 in games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

This would be the last national championship of Coach K’s outstanding legacy, padding the many accolades and achievements this icon has brought to the men’s basketball program and the school as a whole.

February 8, 2020 - Duke tops rival UNC 98-96 in OT

Right before the coronavirus pandemic halted sports and kept fans from attending sporting events, this game could be recognized as one of Coach K’s most memorable as head coach.

Tre Jones ultimately sent this game to overtime, and in the waning seconds of overtime, Jones put up a shot that was off the mark.

Then, Freshman Wendell Moore Jr. found himself under the basket, in which he would collect Jones’ airball for a putback that sent the Duke team into a frenzy on the court in Chapel Hill.

Connor Fenix is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email