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Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski To Retire After Upcoming Basketball Season

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is not happy during the second half of Duke’s 70-56 victory over Louisville in the second round of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is not happy during the second half of Duke’s 70-56 victory over Louisville in the second round of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

Updated: June 3, 6:58 a.m.

Men’s college basketball in North Carolina is going to look a whole lot different very soon.

Duke’s head men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski intends to retire at the end of the upcoming 2021-22 season. The news was first reported by Stadium and has since been confirmed by WUNC.

The Blue Devils confirmed those reports Wednesday evening, and the program billed his final season as "The Last Ride" in a social media post. Duke also confirmed reports that former Duke player and associate head coach Jon Scheyer would succeed Krzyzewski as head coach for the 2022-23 season.

“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,” Krzyzewski said of Scheyer in a statement. “Jon is a rising star in our profession and Duke basketball could not be in better hands in the future.”

Coach K’s retirement announcement comes just two months after his longtime local rival – UNC’s Roy Williams – announced his retirement after 33 seasons on the job.

Krzyzewski, 74, has been the head coach of men’s basketball at Duke since 1980. Since then, he’s led the Blue Devils to five national championships, a total of 12 Final Four appearances, 15 ACC tournament titles and 12 regular season ACC championships. Krzyzewski guided Duke to at least one Final Four in four different decades.

This next season will be Krzyzewski’s 42nd on the bench in Durham. His grandson, Michael Savarino, will be a junior on the team.

A native of Chicago, Krzyzewski is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and coached the Army Black Knights for five seasons before being lured to Duke.

Across his coaching career, Krzyzewski has a record of 1,170-361, which is more wins than anyone else in men’s college basketball.

Krzyzewski was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001, following his third national championship victory with the Blue Devils. Krzyzewski was the head coach of the U.S. men’s national team for more than a decade and led those teams to gold medals at the Olympics in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro. He was also an assistant coach on two other Olympic-winning teams in 1984 and 1992, and was re-inducted into the Hall of Fame with the “Dream Team” in 2010.

“What he means to the countless players he has coached, both collegiately and professionally, is simply immeasurable,” ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement.

Under the direction of Krzyzewski, Duke had six players win National Defensive Player of the Year and 12 players named ACC Player of the Year. Sixty-seven players coached by Krzyzewski were NBA draft picks.

Duke went 13-11 (9-9 ACC) in a COVID-altered season this past year, missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1995.

Several of Krzyzewski’s former players or assistant coaches have gone on to become head coaches themselves. There are two in the ACC in Pitt’s Jeff Capel and Notre Dame’s Mike Brey.

Ensuring a smooth transition from Krzyzewski to Scheyer will surely be a top priority for newly hired athletic director Nina King. King was promoted from senior deputy athletic director to the top job just two weeks ago. Her tenure beings Sept. 1.

Scheyer played for Krzyzewski from 2006-10, with his last season resulting in his mentor's fourth NCAA title. He joined the Duke staff for the 2013-14 season and rose to his current role as associate head coach following the 2017-18 season.

Scheyer served as interim coach last year for Duke when Krzyzewski was sidelined for a January win against Boston College due to COVID-19 protocols. Scheyer has never been a college head coach.

“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. ... (Krzyzewski) has set a standard that every coach at every level should strive to achieve.”

The Associated Press and WUNC's Dave DeWitt contributed to this report.

/ Duke University Archives

Copyright 2021 North Carolina Public Radio

Mitchell Northam