One of our readers followed our advice and wrote Gerry Fraley about his error, and received this response:
Thanks for the note.
I was wrong in the timing of the request, and we will make a correction.
That does not change the spirit of the move. Nothing happens at Duke without Krzyzewski's approval. He wanted the record pinned on Pete Gaudet for obvious reasons.
Indeed, the reasons why Pete Gaudet would have been assigned the records are obvious: Historical precedent!
We've taken a look back at previous situations that are similar. (And we thank Peter Schwaller for doing a good bit of the research!) We've found six instances where a head coach was forced to miss the remainder of the season following an illness or injury, prior to Coach K's missing the season with a back injury, and in every case but one, the interim coach was given credit for the games. Chronologically:
1947, Phog Allen, Kansas
Phog Allen is legendary, and he coached Kansas University to 588 victories in 39 years. In 1947, Kansas was 8-5 when he was ordered by his doctor to take a rest. Howard Engleman assumed the reigns and finished 8-6. Allen returned in 1948, and coached for nine more years, including one NCAA Championship and another Final Four.
1951, Harold Anderson, Bowling Green
Harold Anderson coached Bowling Green for 21 years, compiling a record of 362-185. In 1951, with a record of 10-4, Anderson took a leave of absence for health reasons, and the remaining 13 games (5-8) were credited to an interim coach. Anderson returned to coach for twelve more years, earning the first three NCAA Tournament invitations in Bowling Green history.
1960, Slats Gill, Oregon State
Amory "Slats" Gill was head coach at Oregon State for 36 years, winning 599 games. In 1960, when the Beavers were 9-3, he fell ill, and was replaced by Paul Valenti. Valenti went 6-8 to end the season. Gill coached for four more years, including Oregon State's 1963 Final Four, where they lost to Art Heyman and Duke in the consolation game.
1961, Cappy Cappon, Princeton
Cappy Cappon suffered a heart attack after 11 games, when Princeton was 9-2. Jack McCandless picked up the rest of the season, and went 9-6. Cappon was to resume coaching in 1962, but died three days before the opening game.
1967, Doggie Julian, Dartmouth
After seven games, Dave Gavitt replaced Doggie Julian (5-2). Dartmouth finished 7-17, with all games credited to Julian. This is the only case we could find where an interim coach who finished the season was not credited with the games coached.
1990, Rick Majerus, Utah
Rick Majerus was 4-2 when he underwent heart surgery and missed the remainder of the season. Joe Cravens was appointed the acting coach, and was credited with a 12-12 record.
Perhaps being the most recent incident, the Utah situation with Majerus may have been on the minds of the Duke Atheltic Department when the decision was made that Pete Gaudet would receive credit for the games he coached, and the resultant record. While it may have been expected to be a down year, no one (except, perhaps, Gerry Fraley) expected the team to collapse the way it did.
It should be noted that since 1995, Rick Majerus also missed all but one game of the 2001 season. Dick Hunsacker was given credit for an 18-12 season, with Majerus going 1-0.