Editorial: Krzyzewski’s golden fit will continue

May. 27, 2013 @ 02:30 PM

About 25 years ago, when Mike Krzyzewski was in his first decade leading Duke University and just gaining a measure of success following a tough start, his postgame remarks occasionally included some humor.

Krzyzewski liked to share how humbling it was to be in a home full of women. He and his wife, Mickie, were raising daughters Debbie, Lindy and Jamie. The coach with a growing command of young men in the nation’s premiere basketball conference often said they kept a balance in his life that was incredibly important.

Perhaps they also taught him how to change his mind at the appropriate time.

When the London Games were done in 2012, Krzyzewski said he was sure he had finished coaching USA Basketball. He treasured the Olympic experience, but he felt the time right to relinquish his duty. Last week, he said he’d consulted that valued family in a time of decision, received their support, and would be honored to stay on as coach through the 2016 Games in Rio.

A 1969 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Krzyzewski knows well what it means to serve one’s country. He’s as proud as they come wearing the red, white and blue.

While he’s given grief for unappreciated language, or because others prefer another shade of blue or just simply anything but any shade of blue, Krzyzewski respects those loyalties and cherishes the competition. Because that is his inner being, he easily embraced the challenge of competing with neighbors that won two national championships in Raleigh in less than 10 years, one prior to his arrival and one after, and the aura of success and future national championships in Chapel Hill.

He relishes and enjoys when all three are good, because it is good for the game. That makes him our kind of coach.

Dean Smith, also our kind of coach, was golden coaching in the 1976 Olympics. He is among those Krzyzewski borrowed from, shaping what has become his legacy and style.

For Krzyzewski, it has been about service, teaching young men and giving back to the community. Accomplishments are through team. Each is unique and valued.

And we’re overjoyed he changed his mind.