The grandson of Polish immigrants, winningest active basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski (1947-) is a master team-builder and strategist. By 2010, he had led Duke University Blue Devils to four national championships.
"Find that special person who is the heart of the team-- they can bring out the best in everybody else," he advised.
Raised in northwest Chicago, Krzyzewski (pronounced Shuh-SHEV-ski) played basketball for controversial mentor Bob Knight at West Point, then joined the coaching staff.
In 1980, Krzyzewski was hired by Duke and their athletic director Tom Butters praised him as "the most brilliant young basketball coach in the country."
Called the "gold standard for college coaching," by writer Gary Shelton, Coach K has emphasized team building, goal-setting, and team play for his Blue Devils. "Discipline is not such a bad thing," he said. "It's simply doing what you're supposed to do as well as you can when you're supposed to do it."
In 2000, the feisty coach won his 500th game and had the center court named for him at Cameron Indoor Stadium. "Success is doing the best you can--all the time," he explained. "As a result of that, you are able to define what success means to you. It's a real mistake to let others define your success."
To succeed you have to have trust.