The Mike Krzyzewski era at Duke is coming to an end, but Coach K’s legacy will remain intact for a long time to come. Not only has he built a juggernaut at Duke and led Team USA to Olympic gold on multiple occasions but Krzyzewski has also groomed plenty of assistant coaches who have gone on to become successful head coaches. To get a feel of everything Coach K has accomplished, let’s take a look at some of the most successful coaches on Coach K’s coaching tree.
Who knows, a few years from now, Collins could be much closer to the top of this list. If it matters, he currently has a losing record in his coaching career. However, Collins has done something that no other coach ever has done when he took Northwestern to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history in 2017.
Considering the history of that program, just getting to the Big Dance is a monumental accomplishment. Even if Collins has struggled to build on that momentum, getting the Wildcats to the Big Dance and then winning a game in the tournament makes him a great Coach K disciple and a coach to watch.
Dawkins nearly took down his mentor in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, falling just short against Duke with UCF. Of course, that was just the second time that Dawkins took a team to the Big Dance in over a dozen years as a head coach.
But he did build a respectable program at Stanford for a few years, winning the NIT twice with the Cardinal and taking Stanford to the Sweet 16 in 2014.
Amaker has been at Harvard for so long that people tend to forget about him. However, he’s done incredible things with the Crimson, winning at least a share of the Ivy League title five straight years, which is no small feat in that league. Amaker has also led Harvard to two wins in the NCAA Tournament, which again, is huge for a team from the Ivy.
Granted, his time at Michigan was a disappointment, but Amaker should be proud of what he’s accomplished in more than two decades as a head coach, clearly learning a lot from his time with Coach K.
Snyder has had a long and strange journey since his time as a Duke assistant. However, he’s turned into a heck of a coach. He had a few decent years at Missouri, taking the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament in four straight years, including the Elite Eight in 2002.
He then spent time in the G-League and as an assistant in the NBA before becoming the head coach of the Jazz. He’s built something special in Utah and has turned the Jazz into a powerhouse in the Western Conference.
The best compliment one could give Brey is that he’s turned Notre Dame into a poor man’s Duke. After a successful stint at Delaware, Brey arrived in South Bend in 2000 and has spent two decades making the Irish a perennial NCAA Tournament team.
While success in the Big Dance has largely eluded Brey and the Irish, he’s brought a level of consistency to Notre Dame that most programs would love to replicate, especially since whether it’s the Big East or ACC, the Irish have always played in the nation’s premier basketball conference.