[Podcast] #51: Mike Krzyzewski – Army Veteran, Duke Basketball Coach


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I’ve published more than 500 podcast episodes in my podcast career. A couple times a year, there’s usually an exciting interview, one that feels like a badge of honor. This week’s episode of This Week at VA features the epitome of those interviews. Thanks to a colleague and the great folks at Duke, I had the opportunity to interview Mike Krzyzewski, coach of the men’s basketball team at Duke University. As many of you know, Coach K has won multiple NCAA championship titles and is considered a legend in the sport. What many people may not know, is that he is a West Point graduate and a former Army officer. Coach K talks to us about his decision to go to West Point, transitioning from military to college coaching, developing young players, and his experience in the Army.

About Coach Mike Krzyzewski (before his career at Duke):

Coach K’s disciplined, mentally tough teams can be seen as an extension of his own upbringing. Krzyzewski went to West Point and enrolled in the U.S. Military Academy to receive a quality education, play basketball and become an officer in the Army. From 1969-74, Krzyzewski served his country, directing service teams for three years and serving a two-year stint as head coach at the U.S. Military Academy Prep School in Belvoir, Va. In 1974, he resigned from the Army having attained the rank of Captain. When Coach K was just 26, Knight, his former coach at Army, offered him a graduate assistant-ship at Indiana University. That 1975 squad posted an 18-0 mark in the Big Ten and a 31-1 overall record. Prior to his arrival at Duke in 1980, Krzyzewski spent five years building the program at his alma mater in West Point. He led the Cadets to one NIT berth, one ECAC playoff appearance and an overall record of 73-59.

Covered in Episode 51:

  • Nominating a #VeteranOfTheDay
  • Interview Army Veteran Mike Krzyzewski
    • His decision to attend West Point
    • A story from his experience in the Army
    • Comparing developing young players to mentoring soldiers
    • How military service made him a better coach
    • Transitioning from military life to coaching life
  • VA Adaptive Sports
  • #VeteranOfTheDay Army Veteran Francis Brown Wai

The #VApodcast is now available in iTunes. Search “This Week at VA” in the Podcast app, on Stitcher, or click here to see it in the iTunes store.

Author

Timothy Lawson

Timothy Lawson has been a member of VA's Digital Media Engagement team since April 2016. He graduated from American University's School of Communications in 2016 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Tim is a Marine Corps Veteran having served as a Marine Security Guard posted at embassies in Algeria, Russia, and Peru.

Comments

  1. Stevie Ray Clinton    

    Coach k
    I salute you and congratulate you on your military service and such an outstanding career as duke’s head basketball coach.i thank you sir for your service to our country.god bless.stevie Ray Clinton
    Vietnam veteran 68 n 71

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