Coach K honored again at Madison Square Garden
NEW YORK — Mike Krzyzewski has probably been honored a thousand times during his 40-plus year coaching career.
On Tuesday, he was honored for No. 1,000 at Madison Square Garden.
About 11 months after Coach K became the first Division I coach to reach four figures in wins, The Garden honored him by including him in Garden 366, a photo tribute featuring a special moment from every day of the year.
The big moment from Jan. 25, 2015, when Duke beat St. John's, replaced the one of Joe Louis knocking out John Henry Lewis to retain his heavyweight title in 1939.
Krzyzewski was humbled by it all and proud of the shared accomplishments.
"It's an honor to be remembered here at the Garden for something so special that my teams and I were able to do together," Krzyzewski said standing in the concourse that Garden 366 encircles with incredible photos for each day of the year.
"I've never been up here. It's nice," Krzyzewski said of the concourse, which had refreshments and a souvenir store nearby. "Usually they take us down below to get ready for the games."
Krzyzewski had another special moment in The Garden. On Nov. 16, 2011, his team beat Michigan State for victory No. 903, the one that made him the winningest coach in Division I history, passing his college coach Bob Knight.
"I love this place. It's been so good to me," Krzyzewski said. "It's unbelievable what my teams and I have been able to do here and to have such a special number as 1,000 to have happened here, it really is unbelievable. And then to have it connected to a historical program like St. John's."
Krzyzewski's first trip to The Garden was as a cadet at West Point in 1968.
"I played here and we lost to Notre Dame in the NIT," he said. "Just to be on the court and looking around it's such a special feeling and my players get to experience what I did."
Krzyzewski has an impressive 28-8 record at The Garden and the Blue Devils have won 20 of their last 23 here, including victories in November over VCU and Georgetown to win the 2K Classic.
Not bad for a Chicago kid to do well in the Big Apple.
"It gives you chills to bring your team here," Krzyzewski said. "Whether it's basketball, hockey, tennis, you are on the big stage here and it's something you never forget. It's not just athletes, people come here to perform at their best."
No place will be as special for Krzyzewski as Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium where his name is on the court and the famed Cameron Crazies help turn the on-campus facility into a true pit.
"This building is different. This building is iconic. This building is one that people strive to be in and you have to perform once you do get here," he said.
And now it's a building where Krzyzewski will always be remembered on Jan. 25.
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