Friday, June 19, 2009

Krzyzewski popular, though not as much as Williams

Last month we did a statewide poll looking at what North Carolinians think of Roy Williams, and I got a bunch of feedback from people wondering how popular Mike Krzyzewski is so we included him on our poll this month.

52% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of Krzyzewski, compared to 61% for Williams. 14% have an unfavorable opinion of the Duke coach, while just 9% had a negative one of the UNC head guy.

So both are pretty popular, although Williams more so. Part of the disparity is attributable to the Tar Heels having a larger fan base but Williams is also more popular with fans of opposing schools than Krzyzewski is.

While 68% of Duke fans last month said they had a favorable opinion of Williams, only 53% of Carolina fans say they view Krzyzewski positively. Among State fans 60% had a favorable opinion of Williams, while 51% have one of Krzyzewski. And among supporters of the Demon Deacons 59% like Roy and 53% like Coach K.

My biggest take away from these numbers is that UNC and Duke fans are not actually as hateful of their rivals as public perception would indicate. The most vociferous of their supporters might truly hate their adversary's coach, and they attract most of the attention whenever UNC-Duke time rolls around, but the average fan actually respects the opposing coach.

I guess you can put me in the vociferous category though because this UNC grad thinks that Roy Williams walks on water and that Krzyzewski is...well...just about the devil. Although he's pretty harmless when he's lost to Carolina 6 of the last 7 times out.

One other interesting note on these numbers: Krzyzewski actually gets slightly more approval from his own fans than Williams gets from Carolina partisans. 80% of Duke fans view their coach positively while 76% of Carolina ones do, perhaps a surprise given that Williams has won two national championships since the last time the Devils even made it to the Elite Eight.

Full results here

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