Duke University is a potent force in the sport of basketball. They’re fourth all-time in wins of any NCAA men’s basketball program. So far, they’ve won five NCAA Championships and are always top contenders. Much of their success over the past several decades is because of the leadership of Mike Krzyzewski. Krzyzewski, affectionately nicknamed “Coach K,” has been with the Blue Devils since 1980. During his tenure, he’s set a number of collegiate coaching records. His dedication to the sport has spanned well beyond his career as a head coach. He started playing basketball as a child, and went on to play at the collegiate level. In addition to his work with Duke, he’s led the U.S. men’s national basketball team to three Olympic gold medals. It’s clear his loyalty runs deep both on and off the court. He’s also a devotee to one particular watch brand.
Coach K: Growing Up
Growing up outside Chicago, Krzyzewski developed a reputation in his neighborhood for organizing basketball games. His passion led him to achieve all-star status on his high-school team. His hard work paid off, and he caught the attention of West Point’s former coach Bobby Knight. He went on to serve their team as a point guard throughout his college years. Then, he served his country for five years, rising to the rank of captain. During his time in the military, Krzyzewski remained devoted to basketball by coaching service teams.
College Coaching Career
Krzyzewski launched his college coaching career as an assistant to his former coach, Bob Knight, at the University of Indiana. A year later, he landed his first head-coaching job at his alma mater. After five years coaching at West Point, he stepped into his position at Duke and has been there ever since. Within his first three years with the Blue Devils, he helped establish them as the powerhouse team we know today. However, it took eleven years before Krzyzewski led them to their first National Championship wins in back to back seasons.
Into the new millennium, his momentum hasn’t slowed down. He helped the team notch three more national titles in 2001, 2010, and 2015. In 2015, he also became the first men’s basketball coach to achieve 1,000 career victories. In addition to his achievements at the college level, Krzyzewski coached the U.S. men’s national team. He led them to Olympic gold at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 summer games. In 2019 he won his 1,123 game to become the winningest coach in NCAA history. He has been offered NBA positions multiple times, but has turned them all down.
Krzyzewski’s loyalty extends far outside the world of basketball. He married his college sweetheart the day he graduated from West Point, and they’ve been together for 50 years. He’s also currently faithful to one watch and one watch alone. Krzyzewski is a Rolex man, which comes as no surprise. He opts for a classic: a two-tone Submariner. The Submariner is one of the most iconic Rolex models. However, most typically think of it in black. Coach K’s version features a blue dial and bezel, in Duke’s team colors.
Over the years, Coach K has been photographed in a variety of different watches including an Apple Watch and a Royal Oak, but for many years, the Submariner has been his go-to. The Submariner features a unidirectional bezel, screw-down crown, and a water resistance of 100 meters. It has an oyster-style bracelet with steel and gold, and houses a caliber 3135 movement.
In recent years, he has also been seen wearing an Apple watch, but of course, we are partial to the Rolex.
To some, Krzyzewski’s steadfast approach to life may seem unadventurous. However, there’s something admirable about that unwavering commitment, whether it’s to your life’s work or the timepiece you choose for your wrist.