• My father…and respect!

    Posted: December 2nd, 2010

    Let me first start this with, today I am 39 years old and have 2 children of my own.

    Back in the early 80’s, I was  living pretty close to Charlottesville, VA.  My father wanted to take me to a Duke basketball game against Virginia at what was U-hall at the time.

    My father is a graduate of Duke, class of 1959, and Duke basketball is IN our blood, and this was my very first time being able to see Duke live.

    What a GREAT time it was, although Duke lost, it didn’t matter.

    Watching these players and coaches on TV, they were like movie stars to me. There was no one bigger than Coach K on television no matter what the time slot!!! LOL

    Of course being a child at the time (maybe 7 or 8) I wanted to go down after the game and get the players and coaches autographs. On the way down there weren’t many people around waiting, being the game was in Charlottesville, and I don’t believe anyone was quite on the Coach K band wagon yet.

    We ran into Coach K coming out of the locker room and of course I got him to sign something for me and I said “Coach K, this is my father who graduated from Duke”. And to make the story right, my father is a very passive man, never wanting to cause a stir or a problem or bring attention to himself (greatest man to ever walk this earth). They began to talk breifly, as I stood there wide eyed, like I had just seen a ghost, the man I looked up to more than any one in this world, my father, and THE COACH, Coach K, the fearless leader of my GREAT Duke Blue Devils sitting there talking like they were friends, when a reporter interupted very loudly and kind of jumped in between my father and Coach K in order to get Coach K’s attention to answer some questions. I looked up at my father and he looked at me, and I thought WOW that was a once in a lifetime conversation, My Dad and Coach K talking like they knew each other. In that split second where my father and I thought the conversation was over, I saw this hand stretch out and say “excuse me sir, I apologize for the interuption, I explained to the reporter that I would be glad to answer any of his questions just as soon as I am done with the conversation with you guys”. I was floored!!! I couldnt believe that Coach K had taken the time to make the reporter wait, so he could make sure he was not rude and finish his conversation with my father!!!

    I understand that this is not some ground breaking story, and that Coach K has done some amazing things during his tenure. The obvious on the basketball court and the not so obvious and mostly unseen time and money he gives back to so many things and places. But as a 39 year old man, I have told this story to so many people I have lost count, but what a HUGE impression Coach K made on a little kid and his father.
    These are the little things that people talk about, when they say, “when you think no-one else is looking, there is always someone watching how you handle a situation”

    Coach K is a leader on and off the basketball court, and these stories are probably a dime a dozen, but personally this story, yet small, holds a big spot in my heart. Coach K (the greatest coach of all-time) held MY father to a high regard and treated him with true respect!!!!
    I salute the man that Coach K is!!!


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

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 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
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

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

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
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