RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Governor Cooper joined by Duke University president Vincent Price and senator Dan Blue, honored Coach Mike Krzyzewski for his legendary work with Duke with the prestigious Long Leaf Pine award.
In his 42 seasons, Coach K collected 5 national championships, 6 gold medals and currently holds the most wins of any other D1 coach.
He retired after last season, but remarks from the governor and other leaders tell us his impact is far from over.
Coach K said at his core he is a teacher and that was manifested by his career as a coach.
He said although there is competition between schools they make each other better, and he believes the state of North Carolina is better overall because of that.
"I'm a North Carolinian. It's been an honor to be part of Durham and see Durham grow into the magnificent city it has become," said Krzyzewski. "It's an amazing honor for me to accept the award, not only for me, but for my family and for Duke, because it's a team award."
Senator Dan Blue also spoke on how coach K will continue to influence people
"As long as they are calling your name you will live forever, because of what you've done in this state at Duke, and in this country people will be calling your name generations from now, and you will live on for generations for the great deeds that you've done," said Blue
Cooper who is a long time tar heel fan, spoke on how important it is to recognize and respect greatness
"No matter what shade of blue you wear or any other color for that matter it's impossible to deny the central role Coach K has played in uplifting not only the greatest rivalry in college basketball, but the greatest rivalry in sports. I said it and I'm prepared to argue it," he said.
Maya Angelou, Michael Jordan and Dean Smith are some of the other former recipients of the Long Leaf Pine award.