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Coach K Gets His Groove On?

There are probably two things in life that should surprise no one by now. First is the imagination and creativity (albeit twisted) of the creators of the reality TV shows that have swept the nation. Second is the dry sense of humor of Mike Krzzyewski that leads him to do things in the public eye that you would rarely expect given his incredibly intense persona during Duke’s basketball games.

As some of you probably already have heard, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars has announced its “Rivals” contest, which will be aired over the summer (presumably to boost ratings during the sluggish summer months). More information can be found on ABC’s website, but in a nutshell, celebrity contestants from a wide range of fields will be paired with a “rival” from the opposite sex. Prior to the competition, professional dancers will work with the celebrities on their dance moves, but the dancing itself in the competition will be the so-called rivals paired with each other.

Among the pairings that have been announced, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will be dancing with Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, conservative firebrand columnist Ann Coulter will tango (figuratively and literally) with liberal comedian Al Franken, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will be paired with fellow Georgian and former Representative Cynthia McKinney, NBC “Today” host Meredith Vieira is with Fox News curmudgeon Bill O’Reilly, the “bad girl” of figure skating Tonya Harding will dance with the “good boy” of figure skating Brian Boitano, and last but not least, our man, Coach K, will somehow try to trip the light fantastic with UNC women’s coach and walking sartorial disaster Sylvia Hatchell. Let’s hope he showers and disinfects himself well afterwards. (Ok, that was a little snide on our part.)

Filming will be done over a relatively short period of three weeks during the last two weeks of April and the first week of May, before Coach K’s commitment to USA Basketball. Krzyzewski’s professional dancing coach will be Edyta Sliwinska. Sliwinska, who shares Coach K’s Polish heritage, is the Emerald Ball Latin Amateur champion and has won a number of other dancing awards. A veteran of previous Dancing With The Stars contests, she has been paired with Evander Holyfield, George Hamilton, Joey Lawrence, and, most recently, John Ratzenberger.

Good luck, Coach! Maybe the Dancing Devils can help you out!