• Thanks for visiting my father Richard L. Vanderbloemen

    Posted: December 1st, 2005

    Mr Krzyzewski came to visit my father about a month ago on the 9th floor of the Duke Univ. Medical Center.  My dad was undergoing a stem-cell transplant.  Due to complications, my dad passed away two nights ago.
    The impact that Duke Basketball had on my family was tremendous growing up.  We looked at Coach K as an unbeatable hero, or when the team would lose, as a person who knew how to bounce back from any situation. 
    One of the greatest memories I have of my father was the 1991 Championship in Indianapolis, IN.  No one figured that Duke would sweep UNLV, and my uncle and father’s friends (who had attended UNC) had sold their tickets during Duke’s first round game.  They never thought Duke would win.  When Grant Hill made that dunk, and the tides turned for Duke, a memory was set in my mind that will never leave.  I’d never experienced such joy with my father. 
    As I was thinking of what to say at my father’s memorial service, Duke Basketball and Coach K keep entering my mind.  The popcorn, the Sundrops, the Duke games during the winter are memories with my dad at home that are some of the best that I can think of. 
    My father spent his life raising people’s spirits and encouraging those who needed it.  Coach K was probably the biggest inspiration to my father when it comes to being a leader. 
    Thank you Mr K for visiting with my father while he was alive- you can’t imagine what it meant to him and our family as we talked about it.


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

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

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

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
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

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

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

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
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