The basketball world was thrown into a frenzy with this news. Countless fans, analysts and former players quickly jumped into action to react to Wednesday’s shocking announcement.
Former Blue Devils player and longtime ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas is about as good an authority as you can get when it comes to Coach K. During an appearance on SportCenter after the news broke, Bilas gave a heartfelt reaction to his former coach’s retirement.
“To all of us, [Coach K] is Duke. … I can’t imagine my life without him. I’ve been extraordinarily grateful to have had him in my life. He’s been such a profound influence on me both in basketball and outside of it.”
"To all of us, [Coach K] is Duke. … I can't imagine my life without him."
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 2, 2021
Bilas committed to play for Duke 1982 — just Coach K’s third season as head coach. Through his freshman year, the Blue Devils notched a disappointing 11-17 record. Over the next few seasons though, the Mike Krzyzewski era of Duke basketball success really started rolling. After two straight NCAA Tournament appearances in 1984 and 1985, Coach K led the team on a Final Four run in Bilas’ 1986 senior season.
With 1,170 Divsion 1 wins and counting, Coach K is set to retire as the winningest coach in college basketball history.