As the coach of Duke University ties the infamous Bob Knight for a record 902 division 1 men's college basketball wins it's interesting to see what he has built at the now historic university. Coach K is revered, respected and admired throughout the country and now all over the world with the ever expanding media coverage with the internet bringing everything everwhere in a matter of seconds. However, there is also some murmmers behind the scenes about some of the advantages that have been built in and established for coach that even other big time programs don't have. Jealousy breeds contempt and it's hard to put on the good soldier face when you've busted your ass recruiting a kid since he was a freshmen in high school and as he has developed so has his name recognition across the country and then BAM...in steps coach K driving up to the AAU tournament in a limo and that suite wearing his championship rings and all in a flash it's over. All of that hard work was for nothing and your on to the next recruit on the list, left with a feeling of you were just THIS close to getting that program changer.
Coach K has an endorsement deal with American Express which gives him even more exposure then he already has. Think about how much more he is in the spotlight and in nationally television primetime games then a team like Virginia, or NC State, both ACC teams from the same part of the country but with huge recruiting disadvantages. Then factor in that even the casual fan that isn't interested in sports probably has seen his spot at one time or another and it's enough of an edge that many teams can't compete.
Don't get me wrong, when he took over the program it was no where near the powerhouse that it is today. He has put in thousands of hours of hard work to get to this point where he is today, and when that record is his only, he will look back with fondness of all the student athletes that helped him get to this point, perrenial all-americans that went on to have great NBA careers like Grant Hill, Shane Battier, Elton Brand and many more. Duke has one of the highest success rate of putting players into the NBA with teams like North Carolina and more recently Kentucky.
Turning down offers to become an NBA head coach time and time again has allowed him to name his price in regards to salary. It was rumored at one point years ago that the Lakers wanted him to replace Phil Jackson when he was debating retirement and 10 million per year was on the table as a starting point. That was an absolutely unheard of coaching salary at the time and it still is pretty ridiculous. The rumors started again this past year when Jackson finally did retire but again, Coach stayed true to his heart and his players, honored his committment to Duke and now he returns with another ranked team to start the year. Now let's see where they are ranked when the year is over.....CAN HE BE #1 AGAIN...WITH THE WINS RECORD AND A CHAMPIONSHIP??