Brooks takes program to the top

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The similarities are remarkable.

More than two decades of service. Leading a team from obscurity to elite status. Multiple National Coach of the Year honors. But women's golf head coach Dan Brooks now has a leg up on men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.

After winning his fourth National Championship last week, he now holds the university record for most national titles, one more than Krzyzewski.

"Coach K is someone I admire," Brooks said. "Coach K is in a different category, is the way I see that."

Many Blue Devil fans might agree, but that cannot overshadow what Brooks has accomplished in his 22-year tenure at the helm of his dominating squad.

His list of accomplishments is as long and distinguished as that of any Duke or Division I coach.

Brooks broke the record for total career wins in the NCAA this season when he won his 92nd tournament at the Stanford Intercollegiate Oct. 23. He increased that total to 95 when he won his fourth National Championship last week.

Also on the resume of "Coach B," as President George W. Bush dubbed him when the Blue Devils were honored on the White House lawn last summer, are 11 consecutive ACC Championships and four National Coach of the Year Awards.

When Brooks arrived at Duke in 1984 after having been an assistant golf pro in Boise, Idaho, the women's golf team was nothing to brag about. But in the two decades since, Brooks has taken the program to the top of the golf world. His team has begun seven of the last eight seasons ranked first nationally-it was ranked second in the other year.

Brooks is a man of few words and he is always careful and modest with his comments-as is apparent in his deflection of comparisons to Krzyzewski. In a sport in which composure is respected and rewarded, Brooks is the ultimate stoic figure.

A testament to his priorities, his players describe him not in terms of golf, but in terms of their relationship with him.

"Coach always says that, 'for me you don't just come in and out of my life, once you're in it, you're a part of it,'" senior Liz Janangelo said after playing in her last tournament under Brooks. "Coach will always be a part of my life and our relationship is special."

Brooks also said that he considers his greatest impact to be non-athletic in nature.

"If I've contributed, it's been my ability to respect those athletes and the people that come onto my team," he said.

Brooks rarely takes credit for his great success, instead crediting Duke, its facilities and its educational excellence, for attracting talented golfers year after year.

When Brooks described how his team had just successfully defended its national title by 10 strokes, he said, "The stars lined up for us. Things just happened at the right time. And, you know, it's going to line up for somebody else some other time."


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