Coach K brings humor, heart to Duke commencement

Posted May 15

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— Duke University held its commencement Sunday with celebrated basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski as the featured speaker.

5,300 Duke students packed into Wallace Wade Stadium with their future as bright as the wide-open blue skies above them.

Coach K delivered the commencement address for this first time in his career and called it a dream come true as he brought humor, and heart, to the moment.

“It’s game time. You’re going to get your degrees here. It’s game time and it’s time for you to display the heart, to find your hearts, to find teams and go for it, to expect great things,” he said.

Coach K spoke for 30 minutes and told graduates how his success in 36 years at Duke has been built on advice from his mother to surround himself with good people.

“This school searches for good people; people with character, people who want to make this school better,” he said.

Krzyzewski spoke of last year’s national championship game as a challenging moment in life when, with 13 minutes left in the game, the team was in trouble. Teammates leaned on each other, pulled each other up and made one another better. Coach K had graduates lock arms Sunday and live out the message of the importance on relying on one another.

Coach K also told graduates that, when they inevitably fail, to fall back on the tenets of attitude, belief, preparation and execution.


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