Duke Basketball: Roy Williams could surpass Mike Krzyzewski in wins

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

A decade from now, if Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski doesn’t first quash the possibility by staying in his position for a few more seasons, UNC coach Roy Williams could surpass the legend as the all-time winningest coach.

Yes, I am aware that the headline of this article reads as if written by a hopeful Tar Heel and not a confident Duke basketball fan.

No, I am not a supporter of UNC — in any way, shape, or fashion.

Exactly the opposite.

What I am is an ever-worried-about-life-after-Mike-Krzyzewski fanatic of all things Duke basketball and will do anything — even if futile — to motivate the GOAT to stay at the helm of what has been my favorite program since my first breath until he takes his last breath.

Hopefully, I can help at this moment by reminding the Blue Devils’ 39th-year coach — who first coached five seasons at Army, is 71 years old, and has 1,111 wins (11-1 this season) following his No. 2 Duke team’s 69-58 win over previously unbeaten No. 12 Texas Tech on Thursday — that UNC coach Roy Williams signed this week a contract extension through the 2027-28 season.

Williams, in his 16th season at the helm of the Tar Heels after 15 seasons at Kansas, has 850 wins.

The only active coach between Krzyzewski and Williams in wins is Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, who is three years older than Coach K and will likely retire no later than 2022 when his son, Buddy, graduates. Boeheim sits at 1,034 wins; based on his likelihood to soon retire and being that he is 77 wins behind Krzyzewski — not to mention his teams not winning nearly as many games as Duke as of late — he is all but out of the race.

But back to Williams.

Assuming the 68-year-old remains in Chapel Hill until the end of his latest contract extension but only averages 25 wins a season, starting with his currently 8-2 squad, he would only end at 1,092 wins, 19 shy of Coach K’s current mark.

However, assuming nearly the worst-case scenario imaginable for Duke fans, if Williams somehow manages to average 35 wins a year from here on out — fingers crossed he averages much closer to zero — his count would end at 1,192.

Doing the math, this means that Coach K would need 82 more wins — actually, let’s just round it up to 100 just to be safe. The quickest way for the man whose name graces the floor of Cameron Indoor Stadium to get there is by leading his current squad to win the rest of its games (would be 28 more) — fingers crossed — and then stick around in Durham for two undefeated seasons.

If he did that, with eight national championships and 1,219 wins to his credit, he’d have this fan’s full blessing to go ahead and call it quits in April 2021.

If he instead loses a few games here and there over the course of the next couple years, he’d better go ahead and plan on calling Cameron home for at least three seasons after this one.

You know, just to be safe.

Or, as mentioned above, he could be extra safe by coaching until the day he dies, which hopefully, God willing, doesn’t happen until adding to his years about three times the average lifespan of a goat.

You see, safety is key when talking about any chance of a UNC coach surpassing Krzyzewski — don’t want to leave anything up to chance.

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After all, how could I keep my sanity if the all-time winningest coach was a guy who liked to wear ties with the most appalling and disturbing shade of blue?

Somehow — don’t remember exactly how —  I didn’t end up in a mental ward at any point from the time former UNC coach Dean Smith, who passed away in 2015, took over the top spot from Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp on the all-time wins list in 1997 until Coach K’s mentor, Bobby Knight, took possession of the crown in 2007 (Krzyzewski took it from Knight in 2011).

But I don’t want to have to live through that dark of times ever again.

Anyways, wrapping things up, I’m confident — at least I choose to be — that Duke’s main man isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

ALSO READ: When is Coach K most likely to retire?

Also, to be honest, the main reason (beyond the simple fact that the news of Williams’ contract extension hit my eyes) that I actually wrote this article — including the way I phrased the headline — was to try and trick Heels fans into reading it and then have to come away realizing that it’s practically impossible for Williams to actually surpass Krzyzewski.

Just a not-so-friendly reminder of that fact.

Same goes for national titles (currently five-and-counting for K to just three for Roy).

dark. Next. Top 10 wins of the Coach K era

Again, just a reminder.