Former Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski honored with 'Coach K Highway'

Leaders from across North Carolina gathered at Cameron Indoor Stadium Friday afternoon to commemorate former Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski by renaming N.C. 751 (Cameron Boulevard) to “Coach K Highway.”

In May 2023, the N.C. Board of Transportation passed a resolution to redesignate the highway from Kerley Road to Duke University Road — Krzyzewski’s commute to Duke — amid requests from Durham residents.

“The highway signifies the journey of me, my wife, Mickie and my family for the last 44 years. When we came to Durham, we found a home,” Krzyzewski said. “ … When I think of Coach K Highway, I think of my mom and dad and my brother, Bill. They would be so proud.”

Durham mayor Leonardo Williams, U.S. Rep. Valerie Foushee of North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District and Duke President Vincent Price were among those who joined the Hall of Fame coach for the ceremony.

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper was unable to attend in person, but the lifelong University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill fan passed on a message that was played for the crowd at Cameron Indoor. 

The highway sign that marks Krzyzewski’s commute to campus “ … will no doubt inspire others to travel the road to their kind of greatness,” he said.

In a June 3 email to The Chronicle, Price wrote that “Coach K’s impact here at Duke, and in Durham, extends far beyond the wins and the banners. We see it in the thousands of students, alumni, faculty and staff who learned leadership from his example and in the many ways Mike and Mickie Krzyzewski, and their extended family, have worked to advance healthcare, education, and other opportunities for people in our community and far beyond."

The three-mile stretch features a straight shot between its two points. According to Krzyzewski, the absence of stop signs is a personal favorite and serves as a symbol of his leadership over the basketball program from 1980 to 2022.

Krzyzewski added that the lack of stop signs similarly represents the work his family has put in at the Emily Krzyzewski Center, which helps students from underrepresented backgrounds carve out a path to attend college and “connect to promising careers.”

“The highway with no stop signs signifies what the Emily Krzyzewski Center is about … the single biggest untapped resource in our country is the talent that can be found in low-income communities. We've seen that and we chose to hear about it because it's there,” Krzyzewski said.

Throughout his 42 years coaching at Duke, Krzyzewski won 1,129 games and five national championships, ranking him as the winningest coach in college men’s basketball history.

Editor's note: This article was updated Monday afternoon with comment from Price.


Share and discuss “Former Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski honored with 'Coach K Highway'” on social media.