Legendary Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski to retire after 42 seasons

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Mike Krzyzewski, the legendary head coach of Duke University’s men’s basketball team, will retire after the 2021-2022 season, he announced Wednesday. Jon Scheyer, a 33-year-old associate head coach, will become Krzyzewski’s successor in 2022. 

“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.”

“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,” the statement added. 

“Our family is eternally grateful to everyone who contributed to our career for the past 46 years. So, to the countless members of our extended family, thank you very much.”

Krzyzewski, 74, lovingly known as Coach K, has more career wins than any other basketball coach in Division 1 history, boasting a record of 1,170-361. He led the Duke Blue Devils to five national championships, 12 Final Four appearances and 15 ACC championships.

Krzyzewski was born in Chicago in 1947. He later attended West Point and served as the captain of the academy’s basketball team his senior year. He graduated in 1969 and in 1974, became the program’s head coach where he led the team to a 73-59 record over five years.

Mike Krzyzewski in 2020.

Domenic Centofanti / Getty

In 1980, Coach K joined Duke University as the head coach of the men’s basketball team, spending the next 41 seasons building the program into a powerhouse. In 2005, he became the USA National Team’s head coach, helping the team win three Olympic gold medals in what years — becoming the first coach to do so.

“I can say without hesitation that Mike Krzyzewski is the greatest coach in the history of men’s college basketball,” Duke President Vincent E. Price said in a statement. 

Krzyzewski’s resume is stacked with coaching awards, including three Naismith College Coach of the Year awards in 1989, 1992 and 1999.

He will be replaced by Scheyer, who played for Duke between 2006 and 2010 and has spent eight years working on the coaching staff. In 2018, he was promoted to associate head coach. The university said Scheyer will become the first person in Division I men’s basketball history to be named the head coach after winning national titles as a player (2010) and assistant coach (2015) at their alma mater.

Jon Scheyer in 2019.

Lance King / Getty

“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 in a statement. “This is absolutely humbling. First, I offer extreme gratitude to the greatest coach of all time whose career is unrivaled in basketball. 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.” 

“It is an honor to call this great institution my alma mater, and I’m deeply committed to furthering its academic and athletics excellence while continuing the championship legacy of Duke Basketball.”

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