Coaching Royalty

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After 41 Seasons, Legendary College Coach Mike Krzyzewski to Retire in 2022

Legendary college and USA Basketball Coach, Mike Krzyzewski is set to call it a career.

On Wednesday, the winningest coach in Division I men’s basketball history has announced that he will call it a career following the upcoming 2021-22 NCAA season.

“My family and I view today as a celebration,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “Our time at both West Point and Duke has been beyond amazing and we are thankful and honored to have led two college programs at world-class institutions for more than four decades. That, coupled with 11 unforgettable years as the United States National Team coach, has resulted in a remarkable journey. Certainly, I have been blessed to coach some of the finest young men and greatest players in basketball history as a direct result of these unique opportunities. For us, there is no greater joy than being part of our players’ respective endeavors through basketball, and more importantly, their lives off the court.”

Coach K manned the Duke University’s sidelines for 41 years during which time, he led the Blue Devils to five national championships. Under his leadership, he helped transform Duke Basketball into one of the most iconic collegiate sporting programs in the entire nation.

“I can say without hesitation that Mike Krzyzewski is the greatest coach in the history of men’s college basketball,” Duke President Vincent Price said. “This is clearly demonstrated by his tremendous success at Duke … and his service to our country as the head coach of USA Basketball. But the true measure of his excellence is more personal. It is in his resolute commitment to integrity, fairness, and inclusion; in his transformational impact on collegiate athletics and the Durham community; in the joy, generosity, and inspiration he has brought to countless fans; and in his role as guide and teacher of thousands of players, coaches, and staff at Duke and beyond.”

With 1,170 coaching wins on the Division I level, Coach K’s case for greatest ever is indisputable.

His coaching ability is second to none and his ability to mentor both young and veteran players at various stages in their careers is a testament to how much respect Krzyzewski has earned over his excellent career and his overall greatness. Outside of collegiate basketball success, he helped lead USA Men’s basketball to Olympic gold on three separate occasions, leaving his trophy room abundant with memorabilia and accolades.

“Mike’s been fantastic for the game of basketball,” UNC Basketball coaching legend Roy Williams told reporters Wednesday. “… He’s been a good friend. He’s been a guy I’ve respected a great deal. He made everybody bring their A-game for years and years and years. … He’s just been phenomenal in everything he’s done.”

In announcing his upcoming retirement, Coach K also appointed his successor in associate head coach Jon Scheyer.

“The continuation of our culture at Duke is paramount to future success,” Krzyzewski said. “That is why I am so grateful that [Duke president] Vincent Price, [athletic director] Kevin White and [incoming athletic director] Nina King determined that Jon Scheyer represents our best path forward. He is clearly ready for this opportunity and has shown it repeatedly throughout his playing career and as a coach on our staff the past eight seasons. Jon is a rising star in our profession and Duke Basketball could not be in better hands in the future.”

Scheyer played under Coach K from 2006 to 2010 and will essentially inherit the collegiate basketball royalty upon taking on Coach K’s head coaching role.

“Duke University has been a central part of my life for more than a decade, and I could not ask for a better place to continue my career,” Scheyer said. “This is absolutely humbling. … Coach K has built the premier program in our sport thanks to his unwavering competitive edge, a tireless attention to detail, a family-first approach and a remarkable compassion and care of his players, coaches and staff. He has set a standard that every coach at every level should strive to achieve.”

No one has ever done it better than Coach K and he will truly be missed by the game of basketball.

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