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2014 Man of the Year: Coach K

Mike Krzyzewski
AP
• December 29, 2014 5:00 am

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Mike Krzyzewski has overcome being the coach of the most hated college basketball team in the country to be honored as a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.

Coach K, himself a military veteran, was awarded the Association of the U.S. Army’s highest honor this year, and used his platform to criticize Obama’s refusal to put boots on the ground around the world.

"I know it’s upsetting to many of you when you hear ‘no boots on the ground,’" Coach K said. "It upsets me too, because that’s like saying ‘I’m not going to play two of my best players."’

"For decades and decades, the fact that we are a free country and we don’t play home games here, is a result of having boots on the ground."

Coach K said that foreign policy is about "letting your opponent know that we are going to use our best players." He compared Obama’s statement that there would be no boots on the ground to fight the Islamic State to him telling his opposing coach that Duke wasn’t going to play Grant Hill, J.J. Reddick, or Christian Laettner.

Coach K, who led the U.S. Olympic team to back to back gold medals, tried to imagine applying Obama’s Middle East strategy to his coaching in the Olympics and it drew laughter from the military crowd.

"Hey Spain, I’m not going to start LeBron and Kobe tonight," he said. "I don’t think you do that."

Coach K knows that the military is to thank for his freedom.

"I want to thank you for the countless times your boots have been on the ground. As a result, it has given me an opportunity to live in a free country and to do what the hell I want to do."

Coach K, you may have failed to lead Duke to an ACC championship in 2014, and you may no longer be the conference’s best coach, but you used your coaching prowess to do a great service to this country, and for that, the Free Beacon salutes you.

Published under: Men of the Year