Coach K: The Rise and Reign of Mike Krzyzewski

Mariner. Feb. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780358345404. $28. SPORTS
O’Connor (Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time) presents the first exclusively biographical look at Mike Krzyzewski (b. 1947), one of the most successful coaches in sports history, who has defined Duke University’s dominant men’s basketball program for over 40 years. (It’s timed for Krzyzewski’s planned retirement after the 2021–22 college basketball season.) O’Connor’s is a deeply researched account of Krzyzewski’s childhood in gritty Polish neighborhoods in Chicago, his four years as a West Point cadet, and the way he turned Duke into a basketball dynasty. Krzyzewski’s mercurial relationship with Bobby Knight and the famous Duke/University of North Carolina rivalry are also woven into his life story. Using new insights from friends and family, O’Connor isn’t afraid to show sides of the famous coach that most haven’t experienced firsthand, and delves heartily into the leadership tools that still drive Krzyzewski. This timely book is the most comprehensive biography of the legendary “Coach K” to date.
VERDICT The national spotlight will be on Krzyzewski as the basketball season winds down; all public libraries and sports collections will want to showcase O’Connor’s appealing, candid profile of college basketball’s winningest coach.
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