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Sports Article Summary
The article “Making a Name For Himself,” found the Sports Business Journal, describes
the journey of Duke head basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski from underdog to one of the most
creative leaders in the game. Four freshmen on the 82-83 Blue Devil’s basketball team, helped to
start Krzyzewski on his way. After three seasons of barely surviving in the win column, the
Duke team began to slowly gain ground. With Mark Alarie, Johnny Dawkins, Jay Bilas and
David Henderson as returning players, Krzyzewski continued to build a solid foundation. It took
until the young men had reached their senior year, but they carried Krzyzewski and the Blue
Devils to their First Final Four.
Krzyzewski used the lessons he learned during those first few years to build a recruiting
program that continually provided him with the best students to make his program work. Over
the next 10 years, the Blue Devils reached the Final Four three more times. This proved Coach K
had developed not only a good recruiting program but also a sound work ethic when it came to
learning and playing the game. The students who have played for Coach K, especially those in
the first few seasons, remember him as one who had a unique viewpoint when it came to
building a productive team. His strategies played out well in the marketing arena as well. The
Duke Blue Devils continue to be included in conversations concerning the national
championships year after year. They hold that honor because not only do they have an excellent
program, but they are also marketed in such a way that makes their talents stand out.
Relevance to the Field of Sports Marketing
Sports teams must have talent to win games. They also must have playmakers who
continue to stand out among their peers and draw attention to their contributions to the game.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski, or Coach K, accomplished that. His unique style of coaching drew
attention to the fact that he may not have always had the best players, but he knew how to bring
out the best in the players who were there.
Coach K started his career at Duke at a slow pace. It took almost 6 years for him to reach
his first berth in the Final Four, but once there it did not take him long to return. During the next
ten years, the Blue Devils made three more appearances in the national championships and
brought Coach K the notoriety he deserved. Coach K understood the importance of displaying
not only himself, but also his players, and he did it as often as possible.
The Article’s Uniqueness to Sports
Coaches in every sport, football, basketball, soccer or baseball must learn how to recruit
players. They must also learn how to bring out the best in every player they bring on to the team.
Coach K understood the importance of communicating with his players. He also knew how to
get his players to communicate and interact with each other. The Blue Devils were a forced to be
reckoned with because they truly played and functioned as a team.
What makes the article relevant to the field of sports is the importance that was placed on
teamwork by Coach K. Experience was the key in not only teaching the game, but also in how
the players continued to win those games. Mark Alarie alludes to the fact that Blue Devils were
considered the highest scoring class in the NCAA during his senior season with the team. He
also attributes that success to Coach K and the experience he provided as a coach (Bradley).
Even today, almost 30 years later, Coach K continues to lead the Blue Devils by
experience. He also leads by trust. The rapport he has had with his players, both past and present
shows what teamwork and dedication can accomplish. While the article could be representative
of any sport and team, the uniqueness stands out due to the longevity of Coach K’s career and the
fact that his players today trust him just as explicitly as his players did 30 years ago (Moraitis,
Career Opportunities
Individuals who are interested in a career in coaching collegiate sports would do well to
look at Coach Krzyzewski’s record. His slow start did not hold him back, but gave him much
needed experience in finding ways to move forward. Another career that can be highlighted
when discussing Coach K is that of a recruiter. Recognizing talent getting that student to sign
with the team is the goal of every head coach and recruiting or scouting agent no matter what
sport they specialize in. Finding the talent is only half the battle. Getting them on the team is the
Coach K’s relationship with his players shows what can be accomplished when a positive
role model is allowed to continually influence players. Positions as head coach, assistant coach
and as specialty coaches can give the right person a chance to make a positive impact on students
for years to come.
The positive results the Duke Blue Devils produce show how effective a solid athletic
program can be when attempting to market college sports. The Blue Devils are favorites among
their fans and normally draw large crowds wherever they are playing. This unique marketability
ensures the basketball program a secure future in the world of Duke sports. Their popularity

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