Bill Belichick talks with Coach K
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was a guest on the "Basketball and Beyond with Coach K" program on Sirius XM College Sports Nation on Thursday night. It is clear how much Belichick respects Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, as he ended the interview by saying, "Just want to congratulate you on your great success in breaking the 1,000-win mark. I’d really like to just borrow a couple of those wins from you next year, Mike. You won’t miss them. It’s only a couple out of a thousand, but I could really use a couple at the right time."
Krzyzewski asked a few questions about Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler, which had Belichick reflecting on how the Patriots scouted him at West Alabama after initially getting some incorrect information. Then came some talk about how Belichick has kept things fresh over time to maintain the Patriots' standing as the NFL's top franchise.
After the usual pleasantries, both coaches found out they have a lot in common. Each one has a military background. Coach K is a West Point graduate as well as an assistant coach at the military academy. Bill Belichick is quite familiar with the workings of the Naval Academy where his father, Steve was an assistant coach for 33 years for the Midshipmen.
Bill Belichick was forced out as the head coach in Cleveland in 1995 when the team moved to Baltimore. It took five years to return to head coaching status when Bill took over the reins with the New England Patriots. Coach K was removed from the sidelines in 1995, suffering from back problems and exhaustion. After a 9-3 start, Mike left for the remainder of the season. The team struggled mightily, losing 15 out of 19. The following season was another struggle with a 18-13 record and no postseason appearance, again.
The last NCAA title for the Duke basketball team was April 5, 2010 in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium. The outcome hung in the balance on the 45 foot shot by Butler University Guard Gordon Hayward. The ball bounced off the backboard and rim, and bounced out with no time on the clock. Duke hung on for a 61-59 final victory, giving Coach Mike Krzyzewski his fourth college title. Duke has also been the runner-up four times as well under Coach K.
Indianapolis is also the site of a painful moment in New England Patriots' history. On February 5, 2012, the Patriots lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium, 21-17. The final play for New England was a Hail Mary pass thrown into the end zone with no time remaining, but the prayers went unanswered for the Patriots, and Bill Belichick.
Bill and Mike are both in search of title number five. It is just a matter of time. They will both give credit to the players and coaches when it happens.
"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." - John Wooden
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.
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