Devils' Angel

By turning his basketball team into a family, Mike Krzyzewski has made the Duke Blue Devils perennial winners, on and off court

America's best coach is crying. Not very much, and over the death of his mother five years ago, a completely acceptable reason for tears even by the standards of the tough-hearted college-basketball fans who worship him. But Mike Krzyzewski is definitely crying. "My mom gave me--and I didn't realize it growing up--unconditional support and unfailing love," he says. "You can't get any better than that. It created, for both my brother and for me, a safety net. That's why I've never been afraid to lose."

During his 21 years as men's basketball coach at Duke University, Krzyzewski (pronounced Sha-sheff-ski, or Coach...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!