Duke Beats St. John's For Coach K's 1,000th win, Coach K's Legacy
Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports

1,000. The Duke Blue Devils have beaten the St. John Red Storms by a score of 77-68. The Johnnies came out gunning finishing the first half with a buzzer beater by Deangelo Harrison who hit a three to end the first half. The Blue Devils turned it on with 10 minutes left in the second half leading by as many as 10 points to give Coach Mike Kyzrewski his 1,000th career win. Tyus Jones led the game with 22 points. SirDominic Pointer led St. John's in all major statistical categories. Players and coaches engulfed Coach K when the buzzer sounded at the end of the game. Coach K was surrounded by cameras when the game was over - a fitting tribute to the winningest coach in college basketball history.

Mike Kyrzewski is the only coach in Division I history to win 1,000 games in this career. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, after high school he went to Army where he was coached at West Point by Bobby Knight. His first job after serving in the military was with Indiana under coach Knight. After one season at Indiana he went to West Point for 5 seasons compiling a 73-59 record with one NIT appearances, back when the NIT was bigger than the NCAA tournament.

In 1980 he became the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils, who were floundering at the time. In Coach K’s first two seasons at Duke he had a record of 27-30. 1983-84 was Duke’s first winning season under coach K, and the Blue Devils made it to the NCAA tournament round of 32 with a 24-10 record. They reached the final in the 1985-86 season with a record of 37-3. The stars of that 1985 team were Johnny Dawkins, Jay Bilas, Tommy Amaker and Danny Ferry. The 1989-90 team was the next team to make it to the final with assistant coaches Tommy Amaker, Jay Bilas, and Mike Brey, where they lost to the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels by 30 points.

The 1990-91 team was the first of Coach K’s tenure to win a title, powered by Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill and Christian Laettner. They got revenge in the 1991 Final Four by defeating the future NBAer Larry Johnson's Runnin’ Rebels and knocked off Kansas in the title game two days later. The 1991-92 team again were led by Hurley, Hill and Lattner but they added a guy with one of the best names in a really long time, Cherokee Parks.

The 1991-92 East Regional Final in the NCAA Tournament was one of the best ever with Coach K and Duke going up against Rick Pitino and Louisville. Duke won that game in overtime after Grant Hill threw a full court inbounds pass to Christian Laettner who was waiting at the free throw line and hit a step back jumper. Duke would go onto to defend their title as national champions with a win over the Michigan's Fab Five.

They would go back to the title game again in 1993-94, but again lose. The 2000-01 team, was one of the best ever assembled by Coach K or in college basketball history, powered by Chris Duhon, Andre Sweet, Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy JR, Jason Williams, and Shane Battier. In the title game they beat Gilbert Arenas and the Arizona Wildcats to win their third national title.  The most recent of the national titles was in 2009-10, over an upstart Butler team. That title squad was powered by Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, and Brian Zoubek. Zoubek is out of basketball, while Singler and Smith are still in the NBA. Jon Scheyer is currently on the Duke coaching staff.

The greatest coaches in any sport have legendary coaching trees. Coach K has a pretty remarkable coaching tree. As well, some former Blue Devils are NBA GMs, those being Danny Ferry for the Atlanta Hawks and Billy King for the Brooklyn Nets. The coaching tree includes Tommy Amaker who since 2007 has been the head coach at Harvard. The Amaker led Crimson, lost in the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament in 2013,2014. They also made the tournament in 2012. Tommy Amaker also has led the Harvard Crimson to the regular season Ivy League title every year since 2011. Amaker was able to recruit Jeremy Lin to play for Crimson prior to his NBA days.

Bobby Bender coached Illinois State and Washington 1989-2002. Former assistant coach Mike Brey has coached Notre Dame since 2000, making the sweet sixteen in 2003. Brey also led the Irish to the tournament in 2001, 2002,2003, 2007,2008, and 2010-14. Mike Brey has a 300-158 record as the head coach of the Fighting Irish. Brey coached Luke Harrangody, and Ben Hansbourough and Luke Zeller, three ND stars that did not fare as well in the NBA.

Jeff Capel coached VCU and Oklahoma between 2002-2011, before coming back to be on the Duke coaching staff. Former Blue Devil Chris Collins has been the head coach at Northwestern since 2013. Another former Blue Devil Johnny Dawkins has been the head coach at Stanford since 2008. The Cardinals made it all the way to the sweet sixteen last season. This season they look good, with a 14-5 record. The Cardinals made the tourney from 2000-2005, before a down year, then they made it in, 2007, and 2008. They also did not make the tourny again until last year. Dawkins coached the Lopez brothers, before they became NBA stalwarts, in Brook and Robin Lopez.

Former Dukie Mike Dement was the head coach at UNC Greensboro from 1991-1995, before going to Cornell from 1995-2004, before going back to UNC Greensboro from 2005-2011. Another former Duke player David Henderson was the head coach of the Delaware Blue Hens from 2000-2006. Former Blue Devil Bobby Hurley JR, son of the legendary New Jersey high school coach Bobby Hurley SR, has been the head coach of the Buffalo Bulls, compiling a record of 29-15, without a tourney appearance, thus far.

Former Duke assistant Tim O’Toole was the head coach of his alma mater the Fairfield Stags from 1998-2006. Currently O’Toole is on Johnny Dawkin’s Stanford staff. Another branch on the Coach K coaching staff is Quin Synder, who played for Duke, was an assistant coach at Duke, was the head coach at Missouri from 1999-2006. At Mizzou Synder led the Tigers to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. In 2002 Mizzou made it to the elite eight. In the summer of 2014, Synder was named head coach of the Utah Jazz, who as of the writing of this article has a 16-28 record.

Another branch on the Coach K coaching tree is Chuck Swanson, who coached William and Mary from 1987-1994, compiling a record of 27-71, which is 2nd worst W&M history. Lastly, on the coaching tree is Steve “Wojo” Wojciechowski, who after serving on the Coach K staff since his graduation from Duke in 1999, was named the head coach at Marquette University in 2014, who thus far this season have compiled a 10-9 record.

Coach K’s impact on basketball goes way beyond his coaching tree, or even his 1,000 wins. Mike Kyzrewski was named the head basketball coach of the USA Basketball team through the through the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  Coach K has won gold in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics as well as gold in the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Championships. While coaching the Olympic teams, he has coached NBA legends along the likes of, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer(a former Duke Blue Devil), and Jason Kidd.

Current Cleveland Cavalier and USA Basketball player Lebron James tweeted, “Coach K you’re flat out unbelievable and it’s a true honor having u as my coach throughout FIBA play! U showed me what it truly meant to represent my country and do it with my dignity! Congratulations on 1K wins today! Only right you did this #CoachK1K #LivingLegend

NBA Legend and former USA player, Kobe Bryant tweeted, “Congrats Coach K! Amazing accomplishment #1KforCoachK #Duke.”

Former USA player and Duke Blue Devil Carlos Boozer tweeted, “Big Congrats to Coach K for reaching 1000 wins!!! Such an amazing coach but an even better man…

Former players, Chris Collins, Nolan Smith, JJ Reddick and Bobby Hurley all tweeted congratulations to Coach K, along with several current players including Marshall Plumlee. Coach K has produced 23 NBA first round picks including two number one overall picks since 2010, being Kyrie Irving and Jabari Parker.

There are 18 current players in the NBA played for Coach K at Duke, which is the most of any college basketball team.  Before Coach K arrived Duke had never made the NCAA tournament, now the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium bears his name. Coach K has had 7 national player of the year award winners. Coach K needs 99 more wins to pass Pat Summit as the winingest coach in college basketball, male or female history.

Coach K’s legacy will be felt for years to come, after he finishes winning games, and retires, as one of the best coaches in sports history.

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