2012 Leaves Behind the Year of the Coach in the U.S.A.
The newly inaugurated 2012 is taking over from 2011, an unforgettable for basketball coaches in the United States.
The prestigious sports magazine Sports Illustrated recently named coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Pat Summitt as Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, respectively. Krzyzewski is currently in his 32th season as Head Coach of Duke University’s men basketball team, having taken the Blue Devils to eleven Final Fours and winning four NCAA titles. ‘Coach K’ is also the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history. In addition, he serves as Head Coach of the United States men's national basketball team, which he has led to gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey. As for Summitt, she is currently in her 38th season as head coach of University of Tennessee’s women team, having led them to eight NCAA championships. She is also the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history.
Since its establishment in 1954, the SI award has been mostly vested on prominent athletes and occasionally on coaches. Previous basketball coach winners are Dean Smith (1997) and John Wooden (1972).
However, we could say that the most famous coach in the U.S.A. in 2011 was an amateur one: President Barack Obama. He himself has explained that “this year, in addition to being President, I took on a second job. I was an assistant coach for Sasha's basketball team. Every Sunday we would bring Sasha and her teammates together for clinics and drills. It was a lot of fun. There were even a couple of times when I'd fill in for the regular coaches at the games”. In regard the experience of coaching the team during some games, Obama recognizes that “I'll admit that this was a little nerve-racking, and I'm sure this was true for Sasha as well, who may have winced when her dad would voice his displeasure with a particular call made by the referee. But I was so proud, watching her run up and down the court, seeing her learn and improve and gain confidence”.