Sunday, February 8, 2009

Moments that define a coach

After Clemson beat Duke by almost 30 points last week, Coach K kept his players late -- until 3 a.m.

The Blue Devils bounced back with a come-from-behind overtime win Saturday over Miami.

As the author of this column put it:

The story was about learning from failure. No one in coaching has been better at that than Krzyzewski.

According to Coach K, everyone has defining moments in their careers. The Clemson game was one of those defining moments for him:

"I know from my past that there are certain games and certain moments that define who you are as a coach, as a team, as a player. They're reference points that you look back on years and years after they happen. I was pretty certain after the Clemson game that this was one of those moments -- one way or the other.

I've already had most of the reference points and defining moments in my career and in my life," he said. "When we lost to Virginia 109-66 in 1983, that was a reference point -- not the loss, how we responded to the loss. The same thing was true after the Vegas game [103-73 loss in the national championship game] in '90. When I got sick in '95 and couldn't coach and the season feel apart, that was a reference point too."