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Coach K’s Influence On The Game Is Still Expanding

It’s not going to lessen any time soon.

2023 NBA Summer League - Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Steve Kerr played against Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke team in the 1980’s. Now he’s picking Coach K’s brain as he leads Team USA in FIBA competition.
Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Mike Krzyzewski is retired now but his influence continues via his own various jobs, including one as an NBA consultant, and of course via his own satellite radio show. It also continues via his former players, many of whom have significant influences now of their own.

As you probably know, ESPN has been in the midst of a major shake up lately. There are a lot of factors, not least of all cord cutting and the issues Disney has had with its overall bottom line, which have led to speculation that the Mouse might sell the Worldwide Leader.

Despite all of this, several key former Blue Devils are still with ESPN.

Jay Bilas has carved out an incredible role with ESPN. He’s a sharp analyst first and foremost, able to catch subtleties that most people would miss.

He’s also emerged as one of the leading critics of the NCAA and we think most people would agree that, like an attorney working on a jury, Bilas has slowly changed a lot of minds about the NCAA, what it is, and what it should be.

Jason Williams is still around as an analyst and host. We have no idea what his Q rating is or where he tests for likability, but it has to be quite high on both counts. He’s just always come across as an immensely decent and likable guy.

And then there’s JJ Redick. He started with his podcasts and has parlayed that into an impressive media career. ESPN is reportedly considering him to replace Jeff Van Gundy as a primary NBA analyst.

In the NBA proper, Trajan Langdon, Elton Brand, Mike Dunleavy and Quin Snyder all have careers in the front office or in coaching. So does Chip Engelland, who played one year for K and who is now a renowned shot doctor.

Then there’s Grant Hill, who is part of the Atlanta Hawks ownership group, who has his own broadcast career and who now runs USA Basketball.

That leaves several guys out, including Bobby Hurley, who is the head coach of Arizona State, Jeff Capel, who coaches at Pitt, Mike Brey, recently retired at Notre Dame, Greg Paulus who coaches Niagara, Chris Collins, who has taken Northwestern to its first two trips to the NCAA tournament, Johnny Dawkins, who is at Central Florida, Tommy Amaker, who revolutionized Ivy League basketball and Kenny Blakeney at Howard.

The wins, the championships, that all endures. The people are the biggest legacy though and always will be.