As Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith fought for his life at Erlanger hospital, the floor stayed busy with military officials and politicians who came to pay respects.
But none could provide the same role a coach could.
As Gov. Bill Haslam passed by the window, Smith's wife, Angie, flagged him down.
There is something you can do, she told the governor: Find Coach K.
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Mike Krzyzewski, legendary coach of the Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team for more than 35 years, was Smith's hero.