Krzyzewski will be recognized for his contributions to the United States of America as a strong supporter of national defense and those men and women who have served or are now serving to protect our freedom and liberty.
"As an exceptional patriot, Mike Krzyzewski is not only an American icon familiar to the nation while pacing on the sidelines during a Blue Devils' basketball game, but he is also an extraordinary mentor to our nation’s youth -- both military and civilian,” AUSA president Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret. said. “He is acclaimed for successfully molding character, mentoring our young men and women, and developing leadership through his example and athletic programs.”
Sullivan also noted, "Mike Krzyzewski, an Army veteran, has also distinguished himself as an unwavering and exceptional supporter of our armed forces and the families of those who serve by unselfishly donating his time and energies to ensure that those who are deployed and those at home station are cared for and have the quality of life they deserve."
A Chicago, Ilinois native, Krzyzewski, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1969 as captain of the basketball team and was commissioned a second lieutenant of field artillery. During his military career, he served at Fort Carson, Colorado, the Republic of South Korea, and at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School.
Leaving the Army in 1974 as a captain, he joined Bobby Knight’s coaching staff at the University of Indiana, and, in 1975, he returned to West Point as the head basketball coach.
In 1980, Krzyzewski became the head coach at Duke University where he has led the Blue Devils to four NCAA championships, 11 final fours, 12 Atlantic Coast Conference titles and 13 ACC tournament championships.
Krzyzewski enters his 40th season as a head coach with an NCAA-record 983 career wins, including 910 victories at Duke. In addition to his success on the collegiate level, Krzyzewski has also made a mark for himself on the international stage with USA Basketball.
Recognizing his exceptional leadership skill and mentoring abilities, he was the assistant coach with Team USA at the 1984 and 1992 Summer Olympics bringing home two gold medals. Krzyzewski was named head coach of a struggling U.S. Senior National Team Oct. 26, 2005 and restored Team USA as a national power by leading USA Basketball to an extraordinary 75-1 record and gold medals at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2010 FIBA World Championship, 2012 London Olympics and 2014 FIBA World Cup as well as a bronze medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.
Throughout his distinguished career, as an unwavering supporter of the men and women who serve in the military and their families, Krzyzewski provided over $10,000 in Christmas gifts to soldiers deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He is also a staunch and active supporter of the Hoops for Troops program. Launched in 2006, Hoops for Troops is a basketball program that provides support for U.S. military personnel and their families providing events and activities in a partnership with the Department of Defense.
Recent activities include basketball clinics for military children, training events, special appearances by athletes at military events, access to USA basketball exhibition games and active participation in Let’s Move -- an initiative to resolve and conquer childhood obesity.
Maintaining his close relationship with West Point, he chaired the academy’s Study of Leadership in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership to develop those principles necessary to enrich leader development in the Army.
Since 2007, West Point has awarded the Mike Krzyzewski Teaching Character through Sport Awards to cadets and coaches who exemplify their commitment to the development of noble character through athletic participation and leadership.
In 2005, he was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Graduate Award from the Military Academy not only for his coaching record, but also for his "increasing national awareness of the principles of ‘Duty, Honor, Country.’"
The United States Basketball Writers Association honored Krzyzewski in 2012 by presenting him with the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award for having a positive impact on society.