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Pat Summitt, Mike Krzyzewski get Sports Illustrated's top honor

December 5, 2011 | 10:42 am

Summitt_275Pat Summitt and Mike Krzyzewski are the winningest women's and men's basketball coaches in Division I history, respectively. But in naming them the sportswoman and sportsman of the year, Sports Illustrated wasn't simply handing out a pair of lifetime achievement awards.

As SI's Alexander Wolff points out, there is a reason for each of them to be honored in 2011. Just last month, Krzyzewski set the all-time victory mark for a men's Division I coach in dramatic fashion when his Duke Blue Devils beat Michigan at Madison Square Garden in front of the man he passed, Bob Knight, who was also his college coach.

Summitt announced in August she would continue to coach at Tennessee despite a diagnosis of early-onset dementia to show others they can still live their lives with the disease. Last month she started the Pat Summitt Foundation, which aims to raise funds and awareness about Alzheimer's disease.

Krzyzewski has 907 career victories, including four NCAA championships. He also coached the U.S. to a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and will lead the team again next year in London.

Summit has won 1,075 games and eight national titles in her 38 seasons with the Volunteers. Her victory total is the most of any NCAA coach, man or woman, at any level.

Krzyzewski and Summitt join UCLA's John Wooden in 1972 and North Carolina's Dean Smith in 1997 as the only college basketball coaches to receive the award.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Pat Summitt and Mike Krzyzewski grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. Credit: PRNewsFoto / Sports Illustrated