• Converted

    Posted: December 2nd, 2010

    Back in 1997, before I was (hold your breath) a Tar Heel fan, I left my current head coaching position to become an assistant to a Coach I’d met the previous year. He was a huge Duke fan. Yeah, we clashed. We would have a serious war of words every winter when my Tar Heels and his Blue Devils would meet in conference play.

    Then in 1999, he had the nerve, the nerve mind you, to ask if I wanted to go to Coach K’s fall coaching clinic. After repeatedly telling him “NO!”, he promised that we would visit the UNC campus. I then decided to go. About an hour into the clinic, I have to tell you that I was reborn—–I was converted. The way that Coach K interacted with his players and the passion with which he did his job, I was in total awe. I mean, it was unbelieveable.

    That experience was truly one of the highlights of my coaching career. It is something I will never forget. I really believe this with all my heart—–I really believe that outside the state of North Carolina, I am the biggest Duke fan there is. I make my wife and kids sick the way I talk about Duke basketball. I will tape most games, even as I’m watching them, and watch them again during down time. It has gone so far as this—–my son’s name is Cameron Michael Simon—–after the arena and Coach K.

    I just want to say “THANK YOU COACH K!” for the positive way you affected my coaching career with the the passion you have for the game of basketball and the passion you have for Duke University.


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 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

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

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

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
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

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

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

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

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
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