It seems certain college basketball and football coaches transcend professional coaches.
I think that is because in large part, college coaches seem to be longer tenured than their professional counterparts.
In college basketball, certain coaches have ascended to become fixtures when talking about the universities that employ these coaches.
Oftentimes, the universities have that prestige because of who coaches them.
With how often coaches are cycled through at all levels, there are some that transcend short tenures and are leaving or have left a lasting legacy.
I was born in 1991. There are four college men’s basketball coaches that have a longer coaching tenure with their current school than I’ve been alive: Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Oakland’s Greg Kampe and Davidson’s Bob McKillop.
After this season, one name will fall off that list.
On Wednesday, Krzyzewski, also well known as “Coach K” announced he was retiring at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
Krzyzewski has coached at Duke since 1980, but began his head coaching career at Army in 1975.
Across his 46 seasons, Coach K is the only men’s college basketball coach to crack 1,000 wins (Boeheim has won 982 games), amassing 1,170 total wins and 361 losses, good for a .764 winning percentage.
Krzyzewski has certainly been the coach that is synonymous with the Duke Blue Devils.
While at Duke, Coach K has amassed 1,097 of those wins, while also winning the national championship five times during his illustrious career.
His Blue Devils had a 23-year stretch of making the NCAA Tournament between the 1995-96 season and the 2018-19 season.
Had the COVID-19 pandemic not caused cancelation of the 2019-20 season, that number would have reached 24, but would have ended with the 2020-21 campaign.
Coach K has reached legendary status among coaching circles and within the sports community.
There’s no doubt that Jon Scheyer, Coach K’s currently named successor, will have huge shoes to fill.
He’s replacing arguably the greatest men’s college basketball coach of all time.
But, Coach K is not alone in retirement as North Carolina coach Roy Williams announced his retirement after 33 years of head coaching on April 1.
Williams also had a strong tenure with UNC as college basketball’s biggest rivalry will have two new head men roaming the bench come the 2022-23 season.
Over the course of their tenure’s numerous NBA players have passed through their systems and a few made strong impacts at the NBA level.
I remember when Williams left Kansas to go to UNC after the 2002-03 season.
It will be strange to think these two great coaches will no longer be coaching, but they’ve left their mark on college basketball and really the NBA as well.
When Hubert Davis (Williams’ UNC replacement) and Scheyer’s teams meet for the first time during the 2022-23 season, I hope the Duke/UNC rivalry will still have the same prestige.
Hopefully these guys will continue the tradition of two college basketball powerhouses.