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Mike Krzyzewski or Bob Knight: Who's the better coach? [Poll]

November 16, 2011 |  7:12 am


The poll results have been corrected. See the note below.

Mike Krzyzewski passed Bob Knight, his former coach at Army, as the winningest Division I college basketball coach when No. 6 Duke beat Michigan State, 74-69, on Tuesday night.

With 903 victories, Coach K may have the most wins of all time, but which of the two men is a better coach? Writers from around the Tribune Co. will discuss the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses.

And feel free to join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Shannon Ryan, Chicago Tribune

When you think of Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, you think about winning. When you think about coach Bob Knight, you think about winning ... and throwing chairs ... and throwing tantrums.

Krzyzewski's tempered attitude -- and not his temper -- has shaped Duke into a perennial power en route to his becoming college basketball's winningest coach with 903 victories, bypassing his former coach and mentor Knight with Tuesday's victory against Michigan State.

He's won four NCAA tournament titles and appeared in 11 Final Fours, which are both more than Knight. Now Krzyzewski has the most wins ever. Give him the crown.  

Don Markus, Baltimore Sun

With his 903rd victory Tuesday night, Mike Krzyzewski now has one more win than his mentor, Bob Knight. Coach K's four national championships are also one more than what The General won at Indiana.

But the dominance that his Blue Devils have demonstrated over the last 25 years -- going to seven Final Fours in a nine-year stretch starting in 1986 and 11 in all -- make Krzyzewski the John Wooden of his generation.

What also makes Krzyzewski stand head and shoulders over the man he hugged courtside at Madison Square Garden after the Blue Devils dispatched Michigan State on Tuesday night is his legacy.

He hasn't done anything to embarrass himself or his university as Knight did long before he was fired at Indiana for assaulting a student. Coach K is likely to finish his career on top at Duke, not trying to hang on at Texas Tech.   

[Updated at 9:19 a.m.:

David Teel, Newport News Daily Press

Mike Krzyzewski has won more national championships and reached more Final Fours than Bob Knight. He’s won more conference titles and, after Duke’s victory over Michigan State on Tuesday, more games, breaking Knight’s Division I career record. Krzyzewski’s winning percentages, during the regular season and NCAA tournament, also surpass Knight’s.

But numbers aren’t the only, or even primary, reason Krzyzewski rises above his mentor, the man who presented him for Hall of Fame induction. The greatest difference between them is temperament. Krzyzewski, to the best of our knowledge, has never assaulted a police officer, hurled a chair across the court or habitually bullied others. He has never publicly resented a protégé, as Knight famously did him at the 1992 Final Four. Rather, he has won, with dignity.]


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Photo: Duke's Mike Krzyzewski gets a hug from Bob Knight after winning his 903rd game and passing Knight to become the all-time winningest Division I coach. Credit: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images

For the record, 4:52 p.m., Nov. 16 : The poll results on an earlier version were reversed due to a computer glitch.