Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, already the winningest coach in NCAA Division I men's college basketball history, achieved another milestone in his famed career Sunday, earning his 1,000th career win as the Blue Devils defeated St. John's.
The win didn't come easily. The Blue Devils, ranked No. 5 by the Associated Press, overcame a 10-point deficit with 8 1/2 minutes remaining before winning, 77-68.
After the game, Duke players congratulated their coach while wearing T-shirts that read "1,000 and Kounting."
"We were so gritty in the last 10 minutes,” said Krzyzewski, whose team went on an 18-2 run to secure the win. “It was tough to get involved with 1,000. I was just trying to survive this game, which is how you get to 1,000.”
It wasn't until after the hard-fought win that Krzyzewski said he was able to reflect on his accomplishment.
"I'm in it right now. I wasn't in it until now,” he said. “You know, to see the happiness of my players makes it good. We have to keep it in perspective. It makes us 17-2 and we've got to go to Notre Dame on Wednesday, but for this moment, for basketball, for the game and for this program, we'll enjoy this one right now.”
In 2011, Krzyzewski broke former mentor Bob Knight's career record for coaching wins when he recorded his 903rd victory in a triumph over Michigan State.
Krzyzewski, who has repeatedly turned down offers for NBA head coaching positions, has a 1,000-308 lifetime record since making his coaching debut with Army in 1975. He joined Duke in 1980, transforming the program into one of the nation's best. Duke has made the NCAA tournament 31 times in the last 32 years and has won the national championship four times.
Krzyzewski, 67, has averaged 25 wins per season over his 40-year career despite some sub-par seasons at Army and a 38-47 mark during his first three seasons at Duke.
Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001, Krzyzewski has also had a successful Olympics coaching career, guiding the U.S. men's basketball team to gold-medal victories at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.