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Duke Basketball Coach Michelle Krzyzewski's Annual Employee Evaluation

If Duke Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski were Michelle Krzyzewski, this is what her annual employee performance evaluation would look like.

Employee Name: Michelle Krzyzewski
Job Title: Head NCAA Division I Basketball Coach
Years of Service at Duke: 35
Accomplishments to date: 1000+ career wins, 4 NCAA Division 1 Championships, 11 Final Four NCAA Regional Championships, 13 ACC Tournament Championships, 12 ACC Regular Season Championships, Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Olympic coach for the USA men's basketball team, and more.


Quality of work: Michelle's work is consistently amazing. She exceeds our expectations every season, and we wouldn't change anything about her coaching strategy. Naturally, we are more concerned about a few minor issues, which, once addressed, would make her a more ideal coach.

Communication: Michelle's players and assistant coaches have no problem knowing where she stands and what she wants. However on numerous occasions, she looks grumpy, irritable, upset, and sometimes angry, which can be very disconcerting to those around her.* For example, during a major championship game, Michelle was being overly emotional by barking and abruptly shouting orders at the players on the court with no regard to how she was coming off to other people. She was also gesturing furiously. Although what she was saying was critically important, Michelle needs to soften the message and tone down her animated attitude.

Judgement and decision making: Michelle's judgment has proven valuable on and off the court. However a couple of incidents occurred in the past year that have given us cause for concern. During a few recruitment meetings with potential players, Michelle frequently consulted with her assistant coaches. She did this in front of the potential players and parents. We are concerned that she was relying too much on her assistant coaches' opinions, and we also worry that the parents of these players could have a negative view of Duke basketball because of this lack of independent thinking. Similarly, during halftime at the UVA game, Michelle instructed and ordered players to execute specific plays without feedback from anyone else, including the players themselves. Acting so unilaterally is worrisome as we wonder what other coaching decisions Michelle is making without anyone's consent. We also worry about how assistant coaches and players are internalizing this lack of leadership. Overall, Michelle needs to take incidents like these into consideration and work on her judgement and decision-making skills.*


Team building: The Duke administration, Athletic Department, and basketball players clearly respect Michelle. She is a great motivator and leader. There are some things she can address to improve her leadership skills. On several occasions, Michelle doesn't smile enough. What's worse, she quite often has a snarl or look of anger or disgust on her face. Such displays of emotion hinder team building efforts as those around her may believe she's mad at them.* Her body language and stomping gait are also off-putting as well, especially during critical times in a game. The most jarring example of this was when a television camera was filming Michelle during a time out. She was so busy directing players and planning out strategy that she wasn't smiling or acknowledging the camera in any way. She came across as frosty and unapproachable.


Job knowledge: Michelle's knowledge of basketball and coaching are solid. There have been a few occasions on and off the court where she could have backed off during strategy discussion. In more than one instance, Michelle came off as abrasive and shrill. She needs to back down and let others participate in the discussion not just as a way for her to gain more job knowledge but to display proper leadership skills. Although she has a solid career in basketball, we are concerned that she isn't acting humble or grateful enough to others who made her success possible, specifically her 1000th win. Many in sports media credited this career success to Michelle's expertise and hard work, however her career achievements wouldn't be possible without luck and the contributions from others. We hope that moving forward she'll acknowledge her good fortune and others' efforts that have made her the expert she is today.*


Initiative: We are growing more and more concerned that Michelle is taking too much initiative and emasculating others on staff who want to contribute. For example, she dictates which exercises, drills, and plays the team reviews during practice. In the off season, she regularly consults with basketball scouts to gather a list of potential recruits. At the beginning of every season, Michelle sets up a regular meeting schedule with her assistant coaches and other basketball staff. During those meetings, she is also setting the agenda and leading the discussion. Last week, she was unilaterally deciding which reporters to take questions from during the post-game press conference. All of these examples demonstrate that Michelle is taking on far too much initiative than her head coach position allows.*


Conclusion: Michelle asked for a 5% raise. She based that figure on her latest accomplishments as well as "industry standard." Although she is a top notch coach with many accomplishments to back it up as well as positive feedback from her colleagues and university officials, her personality weaknesses, with an emphasis on how she must consider others' feelings, hold her back. In addition, Duke, like so many universities, is struggling financially. Budget cuts do not allow any salary raises regardless.

If the economy improves and Michelle takes this feedback into consideration and shows substantive improvements, the issue may be revisited next year.*


Overall rating: 99 out of 100.

*Real life examples.

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