Center For Athletic Excellence

The Duke University Board of Trustees on Friday (February 23, 2007) approved naming the $15.2 million Center for Athletic Excellence for men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.

The facility will nearly triple the existing space to expand tutoring, computer resources, one-on-one counseling and team study space for Duke’s 600-plus student-athletes. It will also include two full-court practice areas for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, a weight and conditioning room, a large event gathering space that can be used for banquets for more than 300 people and an outdoor plaza highlighted by benches, trees and landscaping.

The three-story, 56,000-square-foot Michael W. Krzyzewski Center for Athletic Excellence will also free up space in existing facilities for student sports activities and make Cameron Indoor Stadium available more often for large university gatherings, including student concerts.

The facility, expected to be completed early next year, will be next to Cameron Indoor Stadium and the Schwartz-Butters Athletics Center.

A resolution approved by the trustees said naming the facility is a way to honor and recognize Krzyzewski’s contributions to Duke. “Members of the Board of Trustees, acting on behalf of the university community, wish to express their sincere appreciation to Coach Mike Krzyzewski for his vital role in the Duke community,” the resolution approved by the board says.

Krzyzewski said he is “very appreciative of this tremendous honor.”

“I have been at Duke for 27 years and love everything this university stands for. It is a special place with special people,” Krzyzewski said. “I am extremely thankful to all of the people who have stepped forward to make this facility a reality. It will be a tremendous benefit to our university and athletic department in facilitating a well-rounded and exceptional educational process for more than 600 student-athletes annually.

“The Center for Excellence will be a part of my coaching career while I am at Duke, and to have my name associated with it forever means even more.”

Now in his 27th year as head coach of the Blue Devils, Coach K has more wins than any other Duke basketball coach, has guided his teams to three national championships and is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Krzyzewski also has assumed leadership roles for a number of charitable causes, including the Duke Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, the Duke Children’s Classic and the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. In September 2001, he and his wife Mickie created the Krzyzewski Family Scholarship Endowment for Duke students from the Carolinas.

Krzyzewski is also a member of the Fuqua School of Business’ faculty as an executive-in-residence, where he teaches and writes on leadership and ethics during the off-season. In 1997, he was awarded Duke’s highest honor — the Medal of Honor — at the University Founders’ Day Convocation.

Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said the new center would have “a profound and immediate impact” on all of the 26 intercollegiate sports programs at Duke.

“The new student-athlete academic support area will help bolster an already strong program well into the future,” Alleva said. “In addition, we have ensured that we have the best resources available to continually strengthen our men’s and women’s basketball programs and also host large gatherings within our athletics facilities.”

“I have long believed that we have the best coach in all of sports right here at Duke University and when I think of the word ‘excellence’ I think of Mike Krzyzewski,” Alleva added. “So how very appropriate that we now have ‘Krzyzewski’ and ‘Excellence’ forever linked to our athletic department with the naming of the new center.”

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Source: Duke Sports Information /

Collective Responsibility

We win and we lose together. Handling the responsibility for wins and losses together removes the burden from one individual’s shoulders and distributes it among each member of the team. That atmosphere is conducive to high-level performance and places you and your team in the position to be bold and unafraid, and if you should lose, you are not alone.

- Coach K

Adversity can teach you more about yourself than any success, and overcoming an obstacle can sometimes feel even better than achieving an easy victory. Through adversity, you can discover things about your endurance, your ability to turn a negative into a positive, and your personal strength of heart.

- Coach K

Belief can mean the difference between a fear of failure and the courage to try. On a team or in a family, belief makes each individual stronger and also fortifies the group as a whole. The basis of belief is in individual relationships.

- Coach K

When you care about someone or something, you show genuine concern for that person or thing, in good times or bad. When you care about one another and about your purpose, you are compelled to put your feelings into action. Care creates an atmosphere that breeds success and gives you the confidence to try again.

- Coach K

Take care not to allow one aspect of your life to so consume you that you neglect the others. Balance can put things in perspective, can bring you joy even when you are down, and can allow you to be at your best in all aspects of your life.

- Coach K

You can possess countless good qualities as an individual, but if you don”t have the courage to proceed, you may never see those qualities come into fruition. It takes courage to put what you believe to be best of you on the line, to test it, and to see how far it takes you. Courage means daring to do what you imagine.

- Coach K

When you are winning, your commitment is never challenged. But loyalty and dedication during difficult times can be tough. When commitment doesn’t waver, that’s when you have the greatest chance of winning. You can never give up.

- Coach K

No matter how successful you believe yourself to be, you can never feel as if you’ve reached the absolute pinnacle. There are always new and wonderful challenges out there, and part of maintaining success is knowing when you need to accept them.

- Coach K

Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication. Communication does not always occur naturally, and must be taught and practiced in order to bring everyone together as one. The most crucial element of communicating is telling the truth.

- Coach K

You have to adapt what you do based on who you are. In teaching, you must remember that no group or individual is the same as who you taught the day before, the year before, or the decade before. Your plan has to suit who you and your team are right now.

- Coach K
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