Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski showed plenty of class after surpassing the great Pat Summitt on the all-time wins list Saturday afternoon.
Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils defeated Rhode Island 87-62 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, giving the coach his 1,099th victory. The win gives Krzyzewski the all-time record for victories by a men’s or women’s coach, a mark previously held by Summitt.
Krzyzewski was asked about the achievement after the game and gave a lot of credit to the Tennessee legend:
"The lady who had that record would have run hundreds more. Pat Summitt was as good of a coach as there was."
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 17, 2018
“The lady who had that record would have won hundreds more,” Krzyzewski said. “Pat Summitt was as good a coach as there was.”
Summitt died in June 2016 at age 64 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. During her time with Tennessee, she won 84.1 percent of her games and eight national championships.
“Pat could have coached men,” Krzyzewski said on Friday. “She was as good a coach as there was in the country. She really was a pioneer and set up the glory that the women’s game has right now.”
Krzyzewski also recognized the key point in any discussion about longevity records — they’re meant to be broken.
“It’s an honor,” he said. “But someone will break it eventually so it doesn’t make that much difference.”