For Duke's Coach K, Basketball Is a Family Affair

The coach helped fund the Emily Krzyzewski Family Center in Durham, N.C., to pass on the values his mother gave him.

"I've learned that you don't do it alone. I learned that you need to trust somebody when you have tough decisions or are in difficult situations, that you don't know it all and that unfailing love and unconditional support are amazing things when given to a person and I had that from my parents," he said. "That's what I try to do as a parent, as a grandparent and as a coach to try to incorporate what my mom, who never went to high school, and my dad, who only went to two years of high school. They knew it better than I did -- I probably won't ever know it as well as they do."

The Women Behind Coach K

His mother isn't the only woman behind Coach K's success. There's also his wife Mickie, whom he married the day he graduated West Point, and his three daughters: Debbie, 39; Lindy, 33; and Jamie, 28.

"The way we run our basketball program and all of our outside interests in relationships with charities, etc., are run as a family. And they're the core. We call my three daughters, my wife Mickie and I, the starting five," Krzyzewski said.

Krzyzewski, who has been surrounded by men at West Point, and on the court at Duke, has always been drastically outnumbered at home. At family dinners, he said it was impossible for him to get a word in edgewise.

"We used to have to make everybody take turns speaking around the dining room table because everyone wanted to talk. We'd always skip over him," Mickie said.

But being the father of three daughters has softened the coach.

"I think it opened him to be better able to listen. He is more capable of listening to his players, to his staff and to the recruits and their families because he kind of knows you know, I don't have to be the king, because when he's at home he's not thing king," Mickie joked.

"I didn't know growing up how great it would be to be a grandfather and I didn't know growing up how great it would be to have your best friends be your daughters, be your children," Krzyzewski said. "There is a relationship that a father and daughter have that I didn't know anything about. But I've learned it."

Duke Basketball: A 'Mom and Pop' Program

In the K household, it was always about the K kids -- not about the coach.

"The way the house was decorated, the things that hung on the walls were things that had to do with us... like an art project we did for school or pictures of us," said daughter Jamie Spatola. "Lindy was a dancer, a picture of Lindy dancing, as opposed to some award that my dad won."

But it was never a matter of keeping basketball and home-life separate.

"I think there was a choice -- either we were going to compete against basketball, and against Duke and against those players for his attention, or we were just going to all be in it together," said Frasher. "It was a decision that was made by my parents when we were really young. You hear of mom and pop grocery stores and mom and pop diners and this is like a mom and pop college basketball program."

The Krzyzewski women were always a huge part of Duke basketball -- from trips on the team bus as kids to calling a future all-star for dating tips.

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