Behind the Scenes with Teresa Godwin Phelps: The Coach’s Wife

Teresa Godwin Phelps was a noted and respected law professor for several decades, at Notre Dame and American University

But to the public at large, she was better known as the wife of legendary Notre Dame basketball coach Digger Phelps.

She called her 1994 memoir The Coach’s Wife, a rumination on the joys and the frustrations of being in the shadow of such a public figure. And trying to navigate the sometimes-murky waters of college athletics.

Photo by J Rosenfeld

Ironically, it was 50 years ago today, January 19, 1974 that Digger Phelps’s Notre Dame team recorded perhaps its greatest victory. That was the day that the Fighting Irish upset John Wooden’s UCLA, ending the Bruins’ 88-game winning streak.

So here now, from 1994 Teresa Godwin Phelps.

In 2019 Professor Phelps retired from Washington College of Law and is currently Professor Emerita.

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Bobby Knight.

Mike Krzyzewski

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Bobby Knight’s Story of Success and Controversy

The march toward March Madness begins today. The NCAA men’s basketball season is getting underway.

For many seasons, one of the nations most dominant basketball programs could be found at Indiana University, the team coached by the legendary Bobby knight.

Eleven times his teams won the big 10 championship. Three of his teams won the national championship, and one captured the NIT.

After he was fired by Indiana in 2000, Knight took over as head coach at Texas Tech in 2001, taking his team to the postseason in each of his first Four years there.

But night was also a volatile personality. And a 1986 bestselling book by writer John Feinstein helped cement Knight’s reputation as something of a hot head.

I met Bobby Knight in the spring of 2002, as his first year at Texas Tech was drawing to a close. We talked about his autobiography, a book called Knight: My Story.

So here now from 2002, Bobby Knight.

Bobby Knight died last week. He was 83.

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Mike Krzyzewski

Dean Smith

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Jim Valvano

Photo by The Chronicle

As UConn and San Diego State battle it out tonight for the NCAA men’s basketball title, today we are revisiting an interview I did a few years ago with the coach of a team that won one of the most thrilling NCAA victories ever.

Jim valvano was coach at North Carolina State when the team won the 1983 title in a thrilling game.

But by the end of the 1980s, valvano was out as NC State coach.

I met him in early 1991, when he wrote a book about his coaching experience.

So here now, from 1991, Jim valvano.

Jim valvano was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year after our interview, and he died in April of 1993, at the age of 47.

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Mike Krzyzewski
Dean Smith

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Mike Krzyzewski

The men’s NCAA college basketball season opens tomorrow. And it will be the final season for one of the game’s winningest and most successful coaches ever.

Mike Krzyzewski, also known as Coach K, has been head coach at Duke University since 1980. He announced last June that he would be retiring after this season.

Under his leadership, the Blue Devils have made it to the Final Four 12 times, and have won five national championships, second only to John Wooden’s ten.

I met Coach K 21 years ago, when he wrote a book on leadership called Leading with the Heart.

So here now, from 2000, Mike Krzyzewski

Mike Krzyzewski is 74 now, and we’ll leave the game as one of its all-time greatest

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Dean Smith Dick Vitale

Dick Vitale

Photo: Dave Hogg

You would probably be hard-pressed to find a person with more natural energy and enthusiasm than Dick Vitale — former high school, college, and NBA basketball coach turn sports broadcaster.

Indeed, it’s kind of hard to think of college basketball these days without Dick Vitale coming to mind.

And when I met him, more than 32 years ago now, he seemed as perplexed as anyone by how successful he had actually become.

So here now, from 1988, Dick Vitale:

Dick Vitale wil be 82 in June. And still going strong.