Coach K Set To Retire…
… in 7-10 years.
But before that happens lets concentrate on how next season will start.
That’s the number of wins that Coach K will have when next season starts. After tieing, then passing his mentor Bobby Knight in the first two weeks of the season, every game after that he’ll be extending his own record.
So, the next question becomes, where does he stop?
What future number is going to be the new gold standard for Division 1 Men’s basketball coaches?
Before that number is set, lets get a look at some of the other milestones that Coach K will hit.
The obvious one is 1000.
1000 wins is a huge number, but it won’t happen until the 2014-15 season, unless Duke averages 34 wins over the next three seasons and Coach K hits 1000 during the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Something that seems very unlikely.
In case you’re wondering, Coach K has won 100 games over three consecutive seasons just once in his in his career. Between the 98-99 and 00-01 seasons Duke won 101 games.
[My predictions are based on the guess that Coach K will average 28 wins going forward. Here's how I came up with the number. Over the course of his 31 seasons at Duke, Coach K has averaged 26.6 wins per season, over the last 10, he's averaged 29.4 wins. 28 is somewhere in between, so I decided to go with that number.]
If the 28 wins per season is accurate, then Coach K will hit 1000 wins sometime halfway through the 2014-15 season. Late January/early February during the ACC season seems like a good time for 1000, so make your travel plans now.
The next major milestone would be win 1073, which would give him 1000 wins at Duke.
If you use the 28 wins/season as a guideline, win 1073 will occur during the 2017-18 season. Like win 1000, it would most likely occur during the ACC season, this time early-to-mid January.
Coach K will tell you that all those numbers are nice, but the real number he is concentrating on is 5. As in National Championships.
Number 5 would put him second alone, behind only John Wooden (who Coach K wouldn’t catch even if he stayed 70 years at Duke) and cement his face onto the Mount Rushmore of Men’s College coaches.
Another milestone within reach is 100.
100 NCAA Tournament victories.
Right now he is at 79, in 27 NCAA Tournaments. That’s a shade less that 3 NCAA wins per NCAA trip. Over the last 10 years, he’s won 22 games. So, between his past 10 years and overall average, he might hit 100 NCAA victories in 2019 or 2020.
Of course, all these numbers depend on the health of Coach K and how long he decides to coach. He turned 64 back in February and I hope he’s got 9 more seasons in him, that would give him an even 40 at Duke and he’d be 73 when he retired.
Lets take a look at the ages of other great coaches when they retired. Bob Knight retired at 67, John Wooden retired at 65, Dean Smith was 66, Eddie Sutton was 72 and Lute Olsen was 74.
We can see that coaching until the age of 73 isn’t out of the question, but it may be unlikely. Coach K is in good health, he’s only had one major injury during his coaching career (in 1994-95), but still, coaching into the mid-70s is not out of the question.