In The Community

Coach K credits his success in life largely to his parents’ love, work ethic, and tenacity. Another important ally played a role in Coach K’s success: a community center that became a second home to him. That community center changed his life.

Because of these influences, Coach K leads fundraising efforts for the Emily Krzyzewski Center, a community center named in honor of his late mother. The center opened in February of 2006 and Krzyzewski serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Center.

Coach and Silly Kids (Color)

The Center’s mission is to inspire economically disadvantaged students to dream big, act with character and purpose, strive for academic excellence, and reach their highest potential as future citizen leaders.  Their K to College Model is founded on three core beliefs:

  • A Dream-Do-Achieve approach can ignite dreams, inspire hope, develop character and build the confidence of every child so that he/she can succeed.
  • Education is the key to unlocking opportunities, developing productive citizens and eliminating poverty.
  • Every child has the potential to go to college and develop into a responsible citizen leader.

Learn more about the Emily K Center:

Additional Efforts

Coach K is also active in several additional service activities, including:

In 2000, Coach K become the first winner of the Verizon Reads with the NABC Literacy Award.

In 2003, Krzyzewski launched the K Academy, a summer fantasy camp to assist with several Duke basketball projects, including the scholarship endowment fund.

Krzyzewski and his entire family, wife Mickie and daughters Debbie, Lindy and Jamie, have been involved in campaigns to stay in school and against alcohol, drug abuse and drunk driving.

Coach K and the Duke Community

The students at the university are also an important part of Coach K’s life. He appreciates their support and often finds a way to include the students, especially those camped out in Krzyzewskiville, a tent community erected each season outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium for students wanting to get a head start on securing tickets to games. He has been known to treat the fans camping out for days, or even weeks, to a pregame strategy session in Cameron or to buy them pizzas while they wait in line. He knows that what makes Duke special is the unique relationship he and his team have with the school’s student body. The “Cameron Crazies” are regarded as some of the best fans in all of sports.

The university also recognized that vital role on campus, awarding him Duke’s highest honor — the Medal of Honor — at the University Founders’ Day Convocation in 1997.

In September 2001, Krzyzewski and his wife Mickie created the Krzyzewski Family Scholarship Endowment for Duke students from the Carolinas. The $100,000 scholarship, the result of the Krzyzewskis’ gift and additional funds from The Duke Endowment of Charlotte, will provide assistance to undergraduates from North and South Carolina.

“Mickie and Mike Krzyzewski both do so much for our university,” said Duke President Nan Keohane following the gift. “Their many contributions to our athletic program are well known, and their support of undergraduate academic and residential life at Duke should be, as well.”

During the fall of 2002, Coach K received an Honorary Alumnus Award from the Duke Medical Center for his contributions to the Duke Children’s Health Center. Krzyzewski and his family have made the center a focal point in their efforts to raise the standard of clinical care for children.

Related Links



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

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

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

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

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

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

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
View More Coach K Quotes