Heisman Humanitarian Award

Mike Krzyzewski

The Heisman Trophy Trust selected former Duke University Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski as the recipient of the 2022 Heisman Humanitarian Award.

Krzyzewski, whose Emily K Center annually serves up to 2,000 students from K-through-12 in the Durham, N.C. area to provide foundational support in all aspects of their young academic careers, was presented with the honor at the 88th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Dinner Gala in 2022.

As part of the award, he received $75,000 to support the Emily K Center, named after Krzyzewski’s mother, to honor the love and strong work ethic that she instilled in him as a youth.

“Best known for his accolades on the court, Coach Krzyzewski has dedicated his time and energy off the court to bettering the lives of young students through the Emily K Center,” said Mike Comerford, President of the Heisman Trophy Trust. “We look forward to honoring Coach Krzyzewski in December as a Heisman Humanitarian and are excited to see what’s next as he transitions to his next stage off the hardwood.”

In addition to the Emily K Center, Krzyzewski supports a variety of philanthropic organizations, including the Duke Children’s Hospital, The Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research, the Children’s Miracle Network, and the Hoop Dreams Advisory Council, among others.

This past April, Krzyzewski retired as the winningest basketball coach in NCAA Division I history. During his 42-year career as head coach at Duke, he led the Blue Devils to five national championships (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015) and an NCAA record 13 Final Four appearances. A 12-time National Coach of the Year, he also led the U.S. men’s national team to gold medals at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics as well as winning golds in three other international events. He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball, College Basketball, United States Olympic, and the FIBA Halls of Fame.

“I’d like to thank the Heisman Trust for this tremendous honor, their commitment to our work and their important role in supporting amateur athletics,” said Krzyzewski. “I’m humbled to see the impact that the Emily K Center has had on thousands of young scholars, and I know that my mother would be proud of how her legacy has touched the lives of so many talented individuals.”

Founded in 2006, the Emily K Center started modestly, serving 38 young students. In 2010, the center boasted its first high school graduates. By 2015, the Emily K Center was serving 200 students, featuring programs like Scholars to College and Scholars on Campus. In 2016, the center opened its Game Plan: College program, offering free college advice and support to any Durham-area high school student to further their academic and career goals.

Today, the center empowers up to 2,000 students annually as they pursue their educational and collegiate journeys. Many of these students, like Krzyzewski, will be the first in their families to attend college. Additionally, the center works with approximately 50 Durham organizations that use the center’s facilities for their own community-based programs.