NEW YORK (AP) — Coach 1K. How grand.
Mike Krzyzewski earned his 1,000th career win Sunday, making him the first NCAA Division I men’s coach to reach the milestone, when No. 5 Duke surged past St. John’s in the second half for a 77-68 victory at Madison Square Garden.
When the final horn sounded, Blue Devils players engulfed Krzyzewski and he received a bear hug from assistant Jeff Capel. Photographers swarmed the coach on the court, and players were given T-shirts that read “1,000 Wins And Kounting.”
A public address announcement offered congratulations to Krzyzewski, and Duke fans at a packed Garden chanted his name and held aloft “K’’ signs.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Krzyzewski said in the postgame interview room with family nearby — including two of his three daughters and seven of his nine grandchildren.
“There will be others that win more, but it is kind of neat to be the first one to 1,000,” he added. “I am proud of that, too: It’s not just the number of wins, but the quality of opponents we’ve had.”
No. 1,000 came about 500 miles from the cramped and cozy confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium, but Coach K was hardly on unfamiliar soil.
Madison Square Garden, after all, was where he notched victory No. 903 against Michigan State in November 2011, breaking the Division I record previously held by his college coach and mentor, Bob Knight.
“To win the 1,000th here, you need to be a lucky guy. I like my place, Cameron, but this is a magical place,” Krzyzewski said.
The 67-year-old Krzyzewski improved to 1,000-308 in a 40-year coaching career that began in 1975 at his alma mater, Army. He is 927-249 in 35 seasons at Duke, guiding the Blue Devils to four NCAA titles and 11 trips to the Final Four.
“It’s special. But it’s for all the players who have played for him who got these wins. It’s not just us,” Cook said. “That’s why we wanted to come out and get it done.”
The lively crowd of 19,812, mixed with fans of both schools, included about 15-20 former Duke players as well as Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson from the New York Knicks; St. John’s greats Chris Mullin, Lou Carnesecca and Felipe Lopez; and Nike boss Phil Knight.
Around 30 minutes before the opening tip, rising ticket prices ranged from $225 to $888 on stubhub.com — which also covered admission to the Iona-Niagara doubleheader finale at “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”
Midway through an entertaining first half, Krzyzewski was on his feet as St. John’s erased an 11-point deficit.
Wearing a blue suit and white sneakers to support Coaches vs. Cancer, Krzyzewski stalked after the officials at the end of the half to argue that D’Angelo Harrison’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer came after the shot clock expired.
Coach K didn’t get the call, and the Red Storm went into the locker room leading 43-39.
“At halftime I sent a text out to destroy all the books on leadership, because it wasn’t working,” Krzyzewski joked.