Report: Duke’s Coach K to retire after next season

Author: CBS Sports
Published: Updated:
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski watches the action during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will retire following the upcoming 2021-22 college basketball season, according to CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish. Krzyzewski, who turned 74 in February and is famously known as “Coach K,” has led Duke to five NCAA Tournament championships, 12 Final Four appearances and 27 combined ACC titles in tournament and regular-season competition since taking over the program ahead of the 1980-81 season.

In his 41-year coaching career, Krzyzewski won 1,170 games, the most in men’s college basketball history.

A three-time Naismith College Coach of the Year and five-time ACC Coach of the Year, Krzyzewski has amassed a 1,097-302 (.784) career record at Duke with 25+ wins in 22 of the last 24 seasons dating back to 1997-98. His five national championships are bested only by UCLA’s John Wooden (10).

He led the Blue Devils to 24 straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1996 to 2019 before missing the Big Dance this season as Duke struggled to a 13-11 (9-9 ACC) record. Duke won its first two games in the 2020 ACC Tournament but was forced to withdraw from the event after a positive COVID-19 test within the program’s Tier 1 personnel.

Duke assistant and former player Jon Scheyer is believed to be the heir apparent to Coach K, and an announcement to that end could be made as soon as Wednesday afternoon, according to Parrish.

Krzyzewski also coached the U.S. Men’s National Team to three Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012, 2016) and two FIBA World Cups (2010, 2014). Prior to that, he was an assistant coach on the gold-medal winning Dream Team in 1992.

Before joining Duke, Krzyzewski played point guard for Army under coach Bob Knight from 1966-69, serving as captain in his final season. He graduated from West Point and served as an officer in the United States Army for six years before starting his coaching career. Krzyzewski worked as an assistant under Knight at Indiana for one season before taking over as head coach at Army in 1975. He led the then-Cadets to a 73-59 (.553) record over five seasons with an NIT birth and first-round exit in 1978.

After Bill Foster left Duke for South Carolina following three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, Krzyzewski was hired to lead the Blue Devils. It started rough with a 28-47 record, one NIT berth and two campaigns without postseason competition in the first three years, but Coach K soon turned Duke around with a stretch of 11 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including two national titles (1991-92), three runner-up finishes and seven total Final Four berths.

Coach K was forced to vacate the bench during the 1994-95 season after he had surgery to repair a ruptured disk in his back with Duke ultimately failing to make the NCAA Tournament as assistant Pete Gaudet took over for the remainder of the season. However, the Blue Devils were back in the Big Dance the following year and set off his string of 24 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, which included three more championships.

The news of his impending retirement comes two months after legendary North Carolina coach Roy Williams, 70, announced he was stepping down following 48 years in coaching. The departures of Williams and Krzyzewski from college basketball will leave the sport without two of its pillars over the last half-century.

Stadium’s Jeff Goodman first reported Coach K’s decision and Scheyer’s candidacy.

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