When Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim earned his 900th win Monday night against Detroit, he joined Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight in the most elite group in college basketball coaching history. In as few as three more games, he’ll pass Knight with 903 wins.
That means Boeheim and Coach K (936 wins) will be together at the top of the all-time wins list. The two living coaching legends share a lot, including two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) and one FIBA World Championship (2010) as head coach (Coach K) and assistant (Boeheim) of the U.S. men’s basketball team.
They’ve helped guide several players to successful careers in the NBA—from Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Coleman and Rony Seikaly to Grant Hill, Carlos Boozer and Elton Brand. They also have some strong current and former coaching tree branches. Boeheim can count Rick Pitino as his most successful protégés. Coach K can count Mike Brey.
Their similarities continue off the court as both are heavily committed to Coaches vs. Cancer, among other charities. And soon, they’ll also share the ACC. Surprisingly, they’ve only had two head-to-head meetings, which they’ve split.
As a biased Syracuse fan, I thought it’d be interesting to put their many accomplishments side by side. Though it’s clear Coach K has a leg up in several categories (and it may not be a fair straight comparison), we should be in awe of what each man has done for their basketball programs and schools.
It may be decades before anyone catches these two men or even joins them in the 900 club. They are heads and shoulders above any active coach on the all-time wins list. West Virginia’s Bob Huggins has the next-highest total with 714 career victories.
In a few years, maybe they’ll be the first to reach the 1,000-win club. Wouldn’t that be something?
I’ll also note Boeheim is just one Keith Smart jumper and one Tony Delk 7-of-12-from-three-point-range performance shy of having one national title fewer than Coach K. While we’re on it, he’s also one Arinze Onuaku injury and one Fab Melo eligibility shy of even further NCAA success. Just sayin.
|Coach Jim Boeheim||Coach Mike Krzyzewski|
|Years as head coach||36||37|
|Years at current school||36||32|
|First win||Nov. 26, 1976 (vs. Harvard)||Nov. 28, 1975 (vs. Lehigh)|
|Winning percentage||900-304, .747||936-291, .763|
|NCAA tournament appearances||29||27|
|NCAA tournament wins||48||79|
|Conference titles||5 (Big East)||13 (ACC)|
|Naismith Coach of the Year awards||1 (2010)||3 (1989, 1992, 1999)|
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