Amazing.  Today, Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski won his 1000th game as an NCAA college basketball coach. I love college basketball, and Coach K has been a fixture in that world for 40 years.

Forty years. 40. Think about all that has come and gone since Coach K took over at Army in 1975, where he coached for 5 years. And now he’s been the head coach at Duke for 35 years.  That feat alone is truly amazing, but what he’s done there in that time is an inspiration to anyone who seeks any kind of success.

Look at what Coach K has done over the last 40 years.

  • Recruit a new team every single year.
  • Create a new team chemistry every single year.
  • Develop a plan for each season based on new players, new leaders, new strengths, new weaknesses, and new chemistry every single year.
  • See his best players leave for the pros every single year.
  • Win the ACC championship 14 times.
  • Take his team into the NCAA finals a ridiculous 8 times, winning 4 of those games.

Now consider that he’s done this job for 40 years, which is far longer than most people will ever stay at one job, much less one profession, and he’s been at the top of that profession since he took over at Duke, winning the ACC championship in 1980, his first year at Duke.

The way I see it, Coach K has done a startup 40 times. Granted, he’s stayed in the same market space every time, and he’s had solid backing every season, but every season he has started over.  And, you have to know that it wasn’t always pure #winning. Duke didn’t win an ACC championship while Michael Jordan was at UNC. But they came back and won it in ’86.

I played college soccer for 4 years, and I remember like it was yesterday the excitement when we started each season and the heartbreaking letdown when each season ended, especially my final year. Coach K has done that 40 times.  It’s mind-boggling, but that’s what leadership, tenacity, persistence, and positive influence will get you every time.

And, at age 65, he’s not done.  Well done Coach K.

What do you think about that?