Coach K: The Rise and Reign of Mike Krzyzewski by Ian O’Connor. Mariner Books. 384 pages. 2022
This book by Ian O’Connor (I had previously read his book The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter), looks at the life and career of former Duke Men’s basketball coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski from his growing up in Chicago through the announcement of his retirement before his 42nd and final season (2021-22). Although Krzyzewski did not agree to be interviewed for the project, he also did not discourage those closest to him from speaking with the author for this well researched book. Overall, I felt that the book was a balanced look at Krzyzewski, who I have always appreciated for his success while running a clean program.
Krzyzewski was born on February 13, 1947 on the north side of Chicago. He enrolled at Archbishop Weber, an all-boys high school. Known as “Mickey”, he made the Weber varsity basketball team as a sophomore despite showing up for the first practice with a cast on a wrist that he broke playing touch football. He would twice be the leading scorer in Chicago’s Catholic League, before going to West Point to play for Bob Knight. The long and complicated relationship between Knight and Krzyzewski is a major theme in the book.
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After West Point, he was eventually sent to South Korea as an artillery liaison officer in the Second Infantry Division and commander of the recreational compound.
Krzyzewski would marry Mickie in 1969. They would have three daughters. He would become a graduate assistant for Knight at Indiana before being named head basketball coach of his alma mater in 1975, and Duke’s nineteenth men’s head coach in 1980. In his early years at Duke, Krzyzewski thought he might be fired.
We read about how he embraced his former rival coach Jim Valvano as Valvano was dying at Duke University Medical Center, and later about his own health problems when he was hospitalized for back issues and extreme fatigue.
The author writes of allegations of Duke getting an unfair advantage in recruiting the best high school players because of Krzyzewski’s coaching of Team USA, for whom he won eighty-eight of eighty-nine games.
The author writes about Krzyzewski’s temper and profanity, and that in defeat he was at times unpleasant to be around. He states that Krzyzewski at times had trouble saying he was sorry.
I enjoyed this book about Coach K, who won an NCAA record 1,202 games, including five national championships at Duke. He also coached Team USA to three gold medals. The book does contain a significant amount of adult language.
- Seasons of Sorrow Book Launch Event. My wife Tammy and I attended the launch event for Tim Challies’ new book Seasons of Sorrow at the recent 2022 Sing! Getty Worship Music Conference. The event included Tim reading a section from the book, a conversation with Tim, Alistair Begg and Bob Lepine as well as the debut of a new song – “In the Valley (Bless the Lord” – inspired by the book by the book by CityAlight, featuring Sandra McCracken.
- So, You’ve Been Told You Should Read Some Old Books… Tim Challies offers some book suggestions that cover various eras from the early church until the late twentieth century.
- Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold. My wife Tammy has published a book about HOW to study the Bible. The book is available on Amazon in both a Kindle and paperback edition. She writes “Maybe you’ve read the Bible but want to dig deeper and know God and know yourself better. Throughout the book I use the analogy of making a quilt to show how the Bible is telling one big story about what God is doing in the world through Christ. Quilting takes much patience and precision, just like studying the Bible, but the end result is well worth it.”
- Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen. Scott Sauls is the author of Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen: How God Redeems Regret, Hurt, and Fear in the Making of Better Humans. Scott joined Collin Hansen on the Gospelboundpodcast to share what church members would be surprised to learn about their pastors, why deep faith feels like defeat, and how affliction can preach better than a sermon.
BOOK CLUB – Won’t you read along with us?
The providence of God is his purposeful sovereignty by which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe. God’s providence carries his plans into action, guides all things toward his ultimate goal, and leads to the final consummation.
John Piper draws on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry to lead readers on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence—from Genesis to Revelation—to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history.
Exploring the goal, nature, and extent of God’s purposes for the world, Piper offers an invitation to know the God who holds all things in his hands yet remains intimately involved in the lives of his people.
You can download the PDF of the book free from Desiring God.
Watch this six-minute video as John Piper talks about the book, and this interview with Dr. Joe Rigney of Bethlehem College & Seminary.
This week we look at Chapter 34: Our Condition before Conversion. Here is a helpful quote from the chapter:
- The conviction behind the distinction between ordinary human willing and Christian willing is that God is uniquely at work in the lives of his people in a way that he is not in the lives of others. In the case of true Christians, God’s providence is an inexorably saving providence.