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Filed under: Gold: Coach K’s Final Banquet Speech

Get the hankies out

Duke Men’s Basketball Banquet
 DURHAM, NC - APRIL 14: Former Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski (front, center) and his wife, Mickie Krzyzewski (R), react with their new puppy, Coach, during the Duke Men’s Basketball Banquet at Cameron Indoor Stadium on April 14, 2022 in Durham, North Carolina. Coach was a gift by Duke head coach Jon Scheyer.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Some of us have memories of the Vic Bubas era. More have memories of the Bill Foster era.

All of us have memories of the Mike Krzyzewski era and many of us have no memory of anything else. It’s been an incredible ride.

We’ve always enjoyed listening to Coach K speak. He thinks in really unique ways and has a knack for explaining his ideas in a highly accessible manner.

He’s a brilliant communicator and he is in this speech too.

He talked about his wife, Mickie, his daughters and grandchildren and his mother, Emily, who had an eighth grade education but a Ph.D. in emotional intelligence. He talked about the debt he owes to Tom Butters and former Duke President Keith Brodie, for whom he clearly had the highest respect.

And he talked about Duke, about how he bonded with the school and how much he loves it.

He may have some idea of how much Duke and Duke fans return that love but maybe not. He may not understand yet just how much he’ll be missed and how much we collectively treasure him.

When you listen to him speak and how uniquely and intelligently he presents his thoughts, you get some insight into why his players always play hard. We’ve watched Duke for a long time and we can think of just a handful of times in all those years when Duke’s effort wasn't what it might have been.

And Duke won most of those games.

When he finished speaking, he started to cry and then walked away.

And thus ends a legendary career. We won’t see his likes again. We’ve been unbelievably lucky, haven’t we?

Jon Scheyer spoke too and he had a special gift for Coach K, a puppy that seemed to bond with Krzyzewski immediately.

And vice-versa.

Obviously he won’t be coaching anymore but if you ever have a chance to hear the man speak, take it. You won’t be sorry.

You’ll want to see Shane Battier’s video tribute too.