Coach K wins

Will anyone catch Coach K?

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has 957 Division I wins, which is the most all time. The next active coach is Jim Boeheim who has 920, and after that it's a long drop to Bob Huggins at 710. Obviously Boeheim is the biggest threat to Coach K's record, but that would require Boeheim to coach longer than K, and then it would still likely take two years. But K is almost two and a half years younger than Boeheim, and has already stated that he'll coach at least through 2016.

Who is the next biggest threat after Boeheim?

I looked at a bunch of younger coaches who have amassed a significant number of wins, and then compared those to where Coach K was at the same age.

We'll start with the young guns – Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart – who are both 36 years old.

Coach Age Seasons Wins Losses NCAA Final Four Titles
Mike Krzyzewski 36 8 111 106 0 0 0
Brad Stevens 36 6 166 49 5 2 0
Shaka Smart 36 4 111 36 3 1 0

Coach K and Shaka Smart have the exact same number of wins at 36, though Smart did it in half as many seasons. Coach Stevens is already 55 wins ahead of the pace.

But 36 is the age where Coach K became Coach K. He had not made a single NCAA Tournament to that point, and since then the only time Duke has missed is the 1994-95 season in which Coach K sat out the majority with health problems. Otherwise, he's only lost more than 10 games twice in 30 years. So it's fine that Stevens is ahead of the game. All he has to do now is stay hot for the next three decades.

It was difficult to find someone around the age of 40 to compare Krzyzewski to, and I finally settled on Mick Cronin. Perhaps it isn't fair to Cronin, but it also highlights how many games he's won at a young age.

Coach Age Seasons Wins Losses NCAA Final Four Titles
Mike Krzyzewski 41 13 247 143 5 2 0
Mick Cronin 41 10 204 123 5 0 0

In ten seasons Cronin has won 204 games and taken his team to five NCAA Tournaments, which is the same as Coach K at that age. Of course Coach K had already appeared in two Final Fours.

The next age comparison would be Thad Matta.

Coach Age Seasons Wins Losses NCAA Final Four Titles
Mike Krzyzewski 45 17 370 169 9 6 2
Thad Matta 45 13 352 104 11 2 0

In four fewer seasons Matta has 352 wins compared to 370, and has been to 11 NCAA Tournaments. The current configuration of the Big Ten is so competitive, however, that it's bound to take a few wins away each year (not that Coach K didn't have the same challenge).

Billy Donovan, who coaches in an easier conference, is two years older. He could really present a challenge.

Coach Age Seasons Wins Losses NCAA Final Four Titles
Mike Krzyzewski 47 19 422 183 11 7 2
Billy Donovan 47 19 450 186 13 3 2

Not only is Donovan 28 wins ahead of the pace, but he's also won the same number of national titles. He's won twice in three Final Fours, while Coach K had won twice in seven Final Fours.

Another significant threat is Bill Self.

Coach Age Seasons Wins Losses NCAA Final Four Titles
Mike Krzyzewski 50 22 473 208 13 7 2
Bill Self 50 21 507 164 15 2 1

Self is 34 wins ahead of pace at age 50. He's also at a program that is only going to be legitimately challenged within the Big 12 by a handful of schools. At this point it would likely be much more difficult to amass large annual win totals in the ACC or Big Ten where the competition is deeper.

After Self, it really thins out. John Calipari has 526 wins at age 54 (the NCAA includes the vacated games in his official record), whereas Coach K had 606. Bob Huggins has 719 wins at age 59, while Coach K had 753. At that point it is a battle of longevity, where Huggins would have to win by multiple years.

Of course, this is all just Division I. Harry Statham has won 1,068 games (and counting) at the NAIA level, and Herb Magee has won 960 at Philadelphia University, which is Division II. In the women's game, Pat Summit won 1,098 games at Tennessee.

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