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Yes, Virginia, There Was Duke Before K

Here's an article about former coach Bill Foster's contributions to the Duke program. There's no doubt that he brought it back, if briefly, and that he helped to show that it could still be done at Duke.  The 1978 team was an absolute joyride.  It was incomparable.  The excellence - sustained excellence - of the Krzyzewski era is astonishing, but as great as it is, as much as we prefer it, it can never match the sheer exuberance of the '78 team.

The article does not get into his unhappiness at the end of his time here, nor the immense tension around the program after the breakthrough 1978 season.  One thing which Coach K has done which Foster, for all his strengths, could never do, is to handle success.  Foster seemed to like the process much more than the result. He's a guy who will tinker with a car until there's nothing left to do, then sell it and buy a new heap to fix up.

Nothing wrong with that per se, but longevity is much nicer.

We've thought about him a lot lately actually after hearing about the death of his daughter Vicky, which we discussed some time ago here.  She died in a house fire.  We can't imagine how terrible that must have been for her family.