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Unformatted text preview: Mike Kryzewski and Bob Knight are undeniably the most successful coaches to ever emerge from the player-coach lineage that is so often seen in college basketball. Other coaches have attempted to mirror this transition when a less- skilled player graduates college and then directly becomes an assistant under his former coach before taking a head job a few years later. Basketball fans have seen it time and time again with long coaching circles surrounding Tom Izzo at Michigan State University, Rick Pitino when he was at the University of Kentucky and Gene Keady from Purdue, but no assistant has came close to duplicating the success of Kryzewski and Knight. While both coaches have had great careers and share some very similar traits, the inferior is not even close to a carbon copy of the superior. Bob Knight is known to most as a man with an outrageous temper that can not be controlled. While he certainly has flaws that any normal citizen may exhibit with the only exception being the extensive press coverage Knight receives, he single-handedly rebuilt the Indiana University basketball program into one of the nation's powers. Knight brilliantly utilized the state's passion for basketball and he did a great job keeping in-state talent in Bloomington instead of allowing them to escape to better programs, which is the only way to win in college. It could be argued quite feasibly that if he could have controlled his behavior then he would have crossed the one-thousand win plateau instead of retiring at 902. Aside from the national championships that Knight won in 1976, 1979, 1981 and 1987, his best accomplishment may have been when he recruited a Polish young man from Chicago to the military academy at West Point. Despite a funny last name that was unpronounceable to most Americans, Mike Kryzewski emerged from a poor family as a talented basketball player with a good head on his shoulders. Kryzewski rejected and then reconsidered before accepting the scholarship to West Point because "not only would he get a solid education, but he would also get it for free." (Snook et al 2005) Coming from an impoverished family made possibly the greatest college basketball coach in history form a relationship with Coach Knight, and their values matched. They bonded quickly behind their mutual ideals and the friendship grew from the competition while at West Point until Kryzewski graduated and became an officer in the Army. (Snook et al 2005) After five years of service, Kryzewski officer in the Army....
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- Fall '09