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Coach K and the End of an Era

Legendary basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski retires after 47 years.
Coach K and the End of an Era

Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of the Duke University basketball program for 42 years, retired at the end of his Blue Devils' 81-77 loss to UNC during Saturday's Final Four matchup. Capping off a 47-year coaching career with a heartbreaking loss, the famously nicknamed Coach K said to photographers, "Maybe you could superimpose a sunset behind me."

"[Krzyzewski] ended his career with a NCAA Division I record 1,202 career victories, a record 13 Final Four appearances, a record 102 NCAA Tournament wins, five NCAA championships, three Olympic gold medals, two FIBA World Cup titles," writes Mike DeCourey for The Sporting News.

Coach K's ride off into the retirement sunset comes with agonizing loss to North Carolina in Final Four (Mike DeCourcy - The Sporting News)

Excerpt from The Sporting News: “I’ve said my entire career – or when I knew what the hell I was doing – that I wanted my season to end where my team was either crying tears of joy or tears of sorrow. Because then you know that they gave everything. And I had a locker room filled with guys who were crying. And it’s a beautiful sight. It’s not the sight I would want. I’d want the other. But it’s a sight I really respect and makes me understand just how good this group was.”
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"Coach K has seen many careers end over his four-plus decades of coaching," writes Pat Forde for Sports Illustrated. "In the Final Four, against Duke’s most hated rival, the clock finally ran out on his."

With a Torch Passed and Destiny Denied, Mike Krzyzewski Rides Into the Sunset (Pat Forde - Sports Illustrated)

Excerpt from Sports Illustrated: The 75-year-old legend stood and made his way toward triumphant Carolina coach Hubert Davis. They shook hands, and Krzyzewski offered the congratulations he’d received from losing coaches 1,129 times while leading the Blue Devils and 1,202 times overall—more than any men’s basketball coach in NCAA Division I history. Davis is exactly 1,100 career victories behind Coach K’s Duke total, but in that postgame handshake the torch was passed. There’s a new king of Tobacco Road now.
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Rumors swirled early this week when according to the New York Post's Ryan Glasspiegel, "Jay Williams, who played for Coach K at Duke, speculated that the departure of assistant coach and ace recruiter Nolan Smith to Louisville could cause Krzyzewski to postpone his successor Jon Scheyer’s tenure for a year to preserve the program’s top-rated recruiting class."

Coach Krzyzewski addressed this rumor on his SiriusXM show 'Basketball and Beyond with Coach K' when asked by co-host Sean Farhham about "pulling a Tom Brady" and returning to coaching. "Well, to even be put in the same room maybe that Brady would be in is an honor, but he still has talent that can be used at a really high level," Coach K said. "I’m done with the coaching part of it."

Mike Krzyzewski denies rumors he’s going to pull a Tom Brady at Duke (Ryan Glasspiegel - New York Post)

Excerpt from New York Post: “But wow. You know, I’ve been so lucky to be in it for 47 years, almost five decades of coaching at either West Point or Duke, and then 11 years with U.S. How lucky can you be? To be in that arena with two of the best institutions in the world, and then to represent your country in the global arena, it’s been an unbelievable honor. And I’ve loved it. I I’ve loved doing what I dreamed I wanted to do when I was 16, and that was to be a coach."
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