The Madness that is March is kicking off this week. Each year, the top college basketball teams face off for a month of head-to-head competition. Only the best will make it to the Final Four, hosted in San Antonio, Texas this year. Of course, we can’t help but get caught up in the excitement of watching the nation’s most elite collegiate athletes take center stage on the court. However, we also can’t help but try to spot the coaches watches they are sporting as they try to lead their teams to victory.
Over the past several years, many teams have established themselves as forces to be reckoned with. However, a few of those teams in particular—Wichita State, North Carolina, and Duke—are led by powerhouse coaches with an appreciation for a good timepiece.
Gregg Marshall: Wichita State
Gregg Marshall has been the head coach at Wichita State since 2007. He holds the record as the most successful head coach in the school’s history. He has an impressive total of 261 wins (and counting). Marshall’s passion for basketball began in his youth, when he served as a point-guard on his high school team. Although he didn’t pursue the sport at the college or professional level, he went on to get his master’s degree in sports management.
Marshall began his career as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. About a decade later, he landed his first head coaching job at Winthrop University in 1998. He’s credited with completely transforming the previously undistinguished program, leading them to seven NCAA tournaments. This garnered him the title of Big South Coach of the Year four times and ultimately led him to his current role at Wichita State.
Roy Williams: North Carolina
Roy Williams has devoted over 25 years of his career to the North Carolina Tar Heels. For ten years, he served as the team’s assistant coach, and he became the head coach in 2003. Williams’s passion for the Tar Heels runs deep. He was born and raised in North Carolina, developing his talent for basketball at an early age. He lettered in basketball all four years of high school and went on to play at none other than the University of North Carolina. In college, he realized his passion for coaching. He would take notes on his coach’s techniques when he wasn’t playing, help track the team’s stats, and volunteer at youth summer camps.
Williams began his coaching career at the high school level, then became an assistant coach at his alma mater. His first head coaching job was at the University of Kansas, where he coached fifteen seasons from 1988 to 2003. Later that year, he was finally able to return to his roots at North Carolina, this time as head coach. So far, he’s led his team to three national championship victories.
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke
Mike Krzyzewski has served as the head coach at Duke for nearly 40 years. Basketball has been in his blood since a young age. As a kid growing up in Chicago, Illinois, he became known in his neighborhood for organizing games. He went on to play in high school, where he caught the attention of Bobby Knight, the head coach at West Point. Knight recruited him to the United States Military Academy, and he lettered for three years as a point guard. After graduating, he spent five years in the military. It was here, coaching service teams, that he discovered his skill for coaching.
Coach K officially began his coaching career as an assistant to his former coach at Indiana University. However, just a year later, he received a head coaching offer at his alma mater, where he worked for five years. In 1980, he joined Duke as the head coach. Although it took him a couple years to gain his footing, he quickly helped to establish the Blue Devils as the team to beat. In his tenure, he’s led them to five NCAA championships and twelve Final Fours.
Coaches Watches: TAG Heuer and Rolex
Whether they’re on the court, coaching their players to victory, or in the locker room strategizing plays, each of these impressive head coaches wears a faithful companion on their wrist. Marshall and Williams have both been spotted with the modern TAG Heuer Link. The Link collection, debuting in 2011, is one of the newer lines for the brand. This sport watch epitomizes the marriage of form and function, with its “S” shape and bracelet each optimized for comfort. On the other hand, Krzyzewski opts for an old standby: a two-tone Rolex Submariner with a blue dial and bezel. Fittingly it supports the colors of his team. As you’re following the games this March, be sure to keep an eye out for the watches when you aren’t cheering on the teams in your bracket.