O’Connor dives deep, digging through extant sources as well as conducting his own interviews with scores upon scores of people with close connections to Coach K. The result is a fascinating portrait of sporting greatness, a long look at a man who ascended to the heights of his profession ... all that stuff is in there – the nuts and bolts of Coach K’s personal and professional journey – but it’s the rest of it that takes this book from a good read to a great one ... There is a staggering amount of reportage at work here ... [O'Connor's] reporting bona fides permeate the book, with a clear, concise authorial voice that informs and entertains without the passing of judgment – an uncommon feat in a biography, particular a sports biography ... an outstanding work of sports biography, one that really delves into an iconic figure in the history of American athletics. Celebratory without being hagiographic and extremely well-crafted, it’s a great read for any fan of college basketball in particular or of sports in general.
O’Connor’s is a deeply researched account of Krzyzewski’s childhood in gritty Polish neighborhoods in Chicago, his four years as a West Point cadet, and the way he turned Duke into a basketball dynasty ... Using new insights from friends and family, O’Connor isn’t afraid to show sides of the famous coach that most haven’t experienced firsthand, and delves heartily into the leadership tools that still drive Krzyzewski. This timely book is the most comprehensive biography of the legendary 'Coach K' to date ... The national spotlight will be on Krzyzewski as the basketball season winds down; all public libraries and sports collections will want to showcase O’Connor’s appealing, candid profile of college basketball’s winningest coach.
O’Connor effectively leverages a broad cast of characters to chronicle Coach K’s rocky start at Duke (Butters never wavered in his support); the critical role of his family, especially wife Mickie, in his life and his program; his rise to the apex of college basketball; his stint coaching USA men’s basketball to three consecutive Olympic gold medals; and his fraught relationship with combustible mentor Knight. The author doesn’t shy away from Krzyzewski’s shortcomings ... He also makes a powerful case for why Krzyzewski has achieved such immense success: He’s an extraordinary communicator and motivator, brilliant organizer, and tireless worker who prioritizes family and team above all else ... A sharpshooting account worthy of a champion.