Emily Krzyzewski Center

Coach Mike Krzyzewski is the founder and inspiration of the Emily K Center, a non-profit organization in Durham, that was established in 2006 and named in honor of Coach  K’s mother, Emily. Her devotion and love, coupled with her amazing work ethic, provided young Mike with an example he would follow the rest of his life. As a young person Coach K was a fixture in his north side Chicago neighborhood, particularly at a community center where he and his family enjoyed great support. The community center afforded  young people and their families a chance to hone skills, make friends, and strengthen neighborhood ties – all key components to successful individuals and successful communities. Consequently, when Coach Krzyzewski, an equally proud resident of the Durham community, was presented with the idea of a community center years ago, he embraced it wholeheartedly. Coach K and his entire family, among many new and treasured friends, are as committed to the Emily K Center as his parents and the North Side community center were committed to him years ago.

Today the Emily K Center’s mission is to inspire students to dream big, act with character and purpose, and reach their potential as leaders in their community. The Center’s K to College model serves academically-focused students in out-of-school programming designed to help them achieve in school, gain entry to and graduate from college, and break the cycle of poverty in their families.  In addition, the Center serves thousands of students and community members monthly through the use of the Center’s multipurpose rooms, the 2001 Final Four floor that serves as our gymnasium and the performance stage.

In 2010 the Emily K Center celebrated its first class of graduating seniors. Every one of the students received multiple college acceptances and currently are studying at colleges and universities far and wide. Learn more about the Emily K Center at its website www.emilyk.org, follow them on Facebook facebook/EmilyKCenter, Twitter at twitter.com/EmilyKCenter or support them by volunteering or with a donation in honor of Coach by contacting Sara Askey at 919. 680.0308.



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

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
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

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

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

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

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
View More Coach K Quotes