Mike Krzyzewski is one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball. He played basketball for the Army basketball team at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York from 1966 until 1969. In 1975, he had his first head coaching job as the head tactician of the Army basketball team. He then became the head coach of Duke University where he served from 1980 until 2022. Coach K, as he is called, won 5 NCAA championships for the Duke Blue Devils and became one of the most respected coaching figures in basketball. Aside from Duke, he was also designated as the head coach for the USA national team where he led Team USA to three consecutive Olympic gold medals. However, in this article, we will be talking about his lifetime partner — Mike Krzyzewski’s wife Mickie Krzyzewski.
Mike Krzyzewski’s wife: Mickie Krzyzewski
Mike and Mickie Krzyzewski has been married since 1969. She has been a pillar of strength for the hall of fame coach.
Before we go further into their relationship, let’s learn more about Mickie Krzyzewski.
Carol “Mickie” Marsh was born on September 24, 1946, in Alexandria, Virginia, to parents Frank William Marsh and Margie Lee Marsh. Her father died in 2004 while her mother died at the age of 92 in 2018.
Unfortunately, not much is known about Mickie’s academic history. For her professional career, it is known that she worked as a stewardess or flight attendant when she was younger. After she finished her training, she joined United Airlines and worked there for a long time.
Mickie met Mike Krzyzewski on one of the flights that she was working on. The couple then got married in 1969 hours after Mike got his diploma, and they have been together ever since.
She was there when Mike was starting out and still getting his feet wet in the realm of being a basketball coach and she has been his biggest supporter ever since. Coach K attributes a lot of his success to Mickie.
During the 1994-1995 season, Mike Krzyzewski suffered a back injury that needed surgery. Of course, Coach K still wanted to continue coaching despite the injury, and Mickie was the only person to convince him to sit out the rest of the season to recover.
“It was a nightmare,” Mickie Krzyzewski said. “It was horrible, horrible. Getting well was worse for him than being sick because he felt he had deserted his men. He just wanted to kill himself; he felt he had deserted his men.”
“In ’95 he didn’t know he was vulnerable,” she continued. “So that was a big shock to him. And that was one of the shocks he had to get over: ‘Oh, my God! I’m actually a human being.’”
It was reported that she gave Mike an ultimatum wherein she said if he wanted to go home, he should skip practice and go to the doctor’s appointment that she had scheduled.
“One of the things we’ve learned is the emotional toll that chronic pain takes. It just completely changes everything.” Mickie said.
Coach K and Mickie have three daughters: Debbie Savarino, Lindy Frasher, and Jamie Spatola. They have nine grandchildren in total.
All of their daughters attended Duke and two of them work at the university. Debbie is part of Duke’s faculty as the assistant director of athletics, while Lindy works as a staff counselor with the basketball team. Jamie, on the other hand, graduated from Duke as an English major and is currently an author. In 2006, she published a book with his father titled Beyond Basketball.
During the 2019-2020 season, Mike Krzyzewski’s grandson, Michael Savarino, became a part of Duke’s basketball team as a walk-on player. Michael is the son of Coach K’s eldest daughter, Debbie.
“He’s earned it,” Krzyzewski said. “Michael was a really good player at Durham Academy, well-coached there, they had their best season ever. Played on a talented team this year. Michael is a leader, he’s a good shooter, player. He’s also an outstanding student. He’s able to be admitted to Duke.”
Mike, Mickie, and the Krzyzewski family are active in their philanthropic efforts. In 2006, they founded the Emily Krzyzewski Center, a non-profit organization located in Durham, North Carolina. They established this organization in honor of Coach K’s mother and their mission is to help students from kindergarten to high school by equipping them with skills necessary to reach their potential as leaders in their community.
Aside from that, both Mike and Mickie are active in multiple efforts in fundraising initiatives to support the Duke Children’s hospital, Children’s Miracle Network, and the V Foundation for Cancer Research. On top of their efforts, the couple has been major donors to Duke University in support of multiple initiatives such as establishing scholarships for students in North and South Carolina, as well as a Duke student-athlete every year.
As of right now, that is all we know about Mike Krzyzewski’s wife, Mickie Krzyzewski.