DURHAM, N.C. — The opening night of Duke's basketball season marks the beginning of the end for Coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils played the Kentucky Wildcats at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night.


What You Need To Know

Chuck Hemric has been a season-ticket holder for Duke men's basketball games since 1983 when he accepted his first job at the university

Hemric says he's met Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski working on campus

Hemric, 58, attended hundreds of games at Cameron Indoor Stadium with his son


Before the season, he announced his 42nd season would be his final season with the Blue Devils. Many of his fans have been there for almost every conference banner and almost every national title since his tenure began in 1980.

Chuck Hemric has been a season-ticket holder for 38 years.

“To think tonight kicks off the final season of that career is surreal,” Hemric said earlier Tuesday.

The 58-year-old started working on the Duke campus in 1983, three years after Coach K.

“Somewhat nostalgic because I was here close to the time when he started, and I have watched his career build through the years,” Hemric said.

Coach K is a legend of the game with 15 ACC Tournament championships, 12 ACC regular-season titles, 12 National Coach of the Year honors, 12 Final Four appearances, five national championships (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015) and six gold medals as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Hemric met the leader of the Blue Devils off the court enough times to feel comfortable calling Coach K a good man.

“At first you’re like a kid in a candy shop, ‘Oh my God! It’s Coach K!’ But he’s just a normal person. I’ve never known him to be too busy to at least acknowledge and say hi. He’s just a genuinely nice person, and he’s happy to help out however he can, whenever he can,” he said.

Hemric worked at Duke until he retired in 2018. So their paths crossed more than once, just like teams in the Duke-UNC rivalry. He said to watch a game in Durham when the home team pulls out a big win over the Tar Heels is incredible.

“Those games. There is so much hype behind them and it always lives up to the hype. Regardless of the record, you throw it out the window, and it is gonna be fighting tooth and nail to the bitter end," Hemric said.

Hemric estimated he attended 16 games a year for all 38 of his seasons of being a ticket holder. He said he caught hundreds of them with his son, Andy, in the stands by his side at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“To think you are there and seeing history being made in-person,” he said. “I don’t even have enough adjectives to describe it. Just to see all that transpire. Just to see Coach K weave that all together — that is what I refer to as magical.”

Hemric said he will still attend Duke home games after Coach K retires because he’s a fan of Duke basketball overall.