• Coach K

  • The Rise and Reign of Mike Krzyzewski
  • By: Ian O'Connor
  • Narrated by: Kiff Vandenheuvel
  • Length: 16 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (263 ratings)

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Coach K  By  cover art

Coach K

By: Ian O'Connor
Narrated by: Kiff Vandenheuvel
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Publisher's Summary

The definitive biography of college basketball’s all-time winningest coach, Mike Krzyzewski.

Mike Krzyzewski built a staggering basketball empire at Duke University that has endured for more than four decades, placing him among the all-time titans of American sport, and yet there has never been a defining portrait of the man and his program. Until now. 

Three-time New York Times best-selling author Ian O’Connor takes you behind the Blue Devil curtain with a penetrating examination of the great, but flawed leader who won a record 1,170 games and made 12 Final Four trips, with five ending in national titles, before announcing he would retire following the 2021-2022 season. O’Connor uses scores of interviews with Krzyzewski’s best friends, closest advisers, fiercest adversaries, and generations of Duke players and coaches to deliver previously untold stories about the relationships that define the venerable Coach K, and the one with his volcanic mentor, Bob Knight, that died a premature death. Krzyzewski was always driven by an inner rage fueled by his tough Chicago upbringing, and by the cleaning lady and elevator operator who raised him to fight for a better life. As Coach K makes his final stand, vying for one more ring before saying good-bye at age 75, O’Connor shows you sides of the man and his methods that will surprise even the most dedicated Duke fan.

©2022 Ian O'Connor (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Coach K

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Jon “Shayer”?

Good bio of the GOAT - warts and all. The narrator was good, but for God’s sake, learn how to pronounce the names of important people in the story - such as Boeheim and Scheyer.

4 people found this helpful

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Great book!

Whether you’re a Duke fan of just a sports fan in general, this book will bring back memories. Listened to it in one day and left me wanting to hear more. Only criticism would be that in a book about basketball, the narrator should pronounce names correct. Jim Boeheim is a well known enough name but I was left trying to figure out who he was talking about at first. Bo-heme??? Amika Okafur, Amare Stoudemire, they’re all common enough basketball names that they shouldn’t be mispronounced. Other than that, it was fantastic.

2 people found this helpful

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a lot of name mispronunciations

story was great, but it was hampered by two issues:
1) not a lot of new information. nothing here that feinstein hasn't shared before.
2) the narrator mispronounced sooooooo many names that any college basketball fan would know. pretty disappointing

2 people found this helpful

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Overall good with one exception

Wonderful and balanced overview of Mike Krzyzewski’s career. Unfortunately the reader only got Coach K name right while mispronouncing most of the other names cited.

1 person found this helpful

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Mispronunciation of names

It is maddening in audio books which are about basketball that you can't pronounce the names of extremely famous basketball coaches correctly. Take the time to know the names. It is Jim Boeheim pronounced (Bay Heim) not Bow Heim. It is an attention to detail which takes away from the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Book but….

Terrific book. Thorough, well-researched, and objective. An extremely full picture of Coach K and his career. As a Duke grad, I’ve long-respected Krzyzewski, largely because his players love him so much and he appears to return that love in kind…a big deal to me. As a former player, coach and urban teacher, high school principal and superintendent, I’m far less enamored by the way Coach K frequently demeaned his players in front of one another and in front of the public, using language and behavior that any public school employee would be fired for on the spot. Maybe a small thing in the larger scheme, but a very big deal to me as I worked to build the esteem and confidence of countless highly-challenged, urban kids. One more note: buyer beware. The narrator has a terrific voice and style, but you will continually cringe while he inexplicably and inexcusably butchers countless names of players and coaches alike. Buy the book in any case. You won’t regret it.

1 person found this helpful

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A Deep Dive into the Life of Coach K

I'm biased, as I was a Duke grad student during Coach K's first two NCAA appearances (83-84 and 84-85). It was exciting watching big-time basketball, even from behind the basket (undergrads have better seating, but grad students had guaranteed seats without camping in Krzyzewskiville for days prior to each game).

This book is fascinating. The author has spoken with hundreds and hundreds of Coach K's childhood friends, players and their families, rival coaches, administrators, and staffers, He presents Krzyzewski at his best (supporting a player whose father died suddenly and a former player who nearly died shortly after leaving Duke, as well as, his reconciliation and deep friendship with college and coaching - at two different schools for each - rival Jim Valvano) and his worst (dressing down campus newspaper sports reporters, dressing down players in public). We end up with a complete picture of the man and understand why he's achieved such extraordinary success in basketball and in life.

Kiff Vandenheuvel did a good job for the most part narrating the book. He has a pleasant voice and cadence. I knocked him down two stars because he mispronounces some names, including Canadian forward Danny Meaghar ("Ma har' " is correct) and Duke president Nannerl Keohane (it's "Ko hane' ", not "Ko' han"). He finds three ways to pronounce Jim Boeheim's name ("Bo heem' ", "Bo hime' ", and "Bo hame' "), yet still doesn't nail the first syllable. He mispronounces the name of the Fuqua School of Business and the first name of forward Shavlik Randolph (admittedly an unusual first name, which is the last name of his ACC-famous grandfather). He pronounces Jon Scheyer's name two different ways ("Share" and "Share' er"), neither of which is correct.

The mispronunciations are distracting. But hell, he nails "Krzyzewski" every time, so kudos.

1 person found this helpful

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College basketball fans will enjoy

Ian O'Connor does an excellent portrayal of the life of Coach K, the good , bad and ugly. The background of his youth is crucial to understanding the drive in Coach K. College basketball fanatics are familiar with Coach K profane vulgar treatment of his players and others that can border on abuse and the subsequent repentance shown. Casual fans might be surprised to see that side of Coach K. A great positive of this book is the further expose of Coach Knight and another reason to loathe him.

The narrator does a great job telling the story with great tone and pacing but it's obvious he is not a subject matter expert with the frequent mispronunciation of key character names throughout the book. It is a shame that it is such a distraction from an otherwise very good narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Incredible Leadership Book

The book painted a perfect picture of the journey Coach K took from Chicago, West Point and then Durham. As a former D1 athlete and now business leader this book exceeded all expectations. I like the way Coach K adapted his style and approach over 42 years of coaching without sacrificing his ethics and family values. T.

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Not a Duke or K fan but good story:

I’m not a Duke fan or coach K fan, but I am a basketball fan. I enjoyed the story, but I wish these narrators would learn the correct pronunciation of names before narrating books, it’s frustrating to listen over and over to the mispronounced names of people and places.