Coach K Stories

  • Becoming a Leader

    It was March of this year(2011). Im on my way back from Florida with my best friend Bryan. Were from Syracuse NY and we drove to Florida. My only request was to stop in Durham NC at DUKE University. So we did. As we drove into campus i got butterflies in my stomach. I actually … Continue reading Becoming a Leader

  • inspiration

    i watch duke all the time. im obsessed with basketball. duke has been the only college ive ever wanted to go to for as long as i can remember. especially for basketball. i have their entire schedule programmed into my phone. im a 13 year old girl. coach k has inspired me to do so … Continue reading inspiration

  • Family

    Coach, I recently visited Cameron for he first time to watch you tie the record against coach Knight. My brother and I came together to have a family experience. My dad passed away in 2000 and my entire family is die hard Duke supporters. We have admired your character , leadership and dedication since my … Continue reading Family

  • Growing up with K

    Since an early age, I have been a Duke fan. Before I could spell DUKE, I was a Duke fan. I remember the excitement I had as a boy when anticipating a Duke game. I always loved basketball in general, but there was something about Duke that I liked that transcended just the game. It … Continue reading Growing up with K

  • Great Inspiration

    I have recently retired from the United States Army and have watched you over the past twenty years. I am a die hard Carolina fan and it kills me to write this. I want to thank you for your true patriotism and example you have set for not only the kids in your program but … Continue reading Great Inspiration

  • Family

    I am a retired Marine. For three fantastic years (I’ve been a Duke basketball fan since the eighties), I was the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor at Duke. Needless to say, my entire family have become Dukies. In 2006, my two boys were checking in for camp, and my wife Cindy was in the line for … Continue reading Family

  • First Impressions

    I grew up near Greensboro, NC and had the chance to attend my first Duke basketball game in 1988. I was 18 years old. Did I mention it was the championship game of the ACC Tournament v. Carolina??? I arrived early and walked down to court-side as the teams were on the floor warming up. … Continue reading First Impressions


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

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

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

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
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

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

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 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

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
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