USA Basketball: Rio Games to be Coach K’s swan song

By on
FILE – This April 6, 2010, file photo shows Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski gesturing after the net was cut down following Duke’s 61-59 win over Butler in the men’s NCAA Final Four college basketball championship game, in Indianapolis. Krzyzewski and Geno Auriemma both ended their college seasons with national titles. Now they will spend the summer getting ready for their next challenge _ the world championships. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

USA Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Monday that he plans to step down from his post after next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Krzyzewski, who steered Duke University to five NCAA championships, took over the reins as Team USA tactician in 2005. He first coached the team at the 1990 FIBA World Cup.

He led the United States’ gold medal performances in the Beijing and London Olympics but recently has decided that next year’s campaign for a third championship at the Games will be his last.

Krzyzewski hopes his stint in Rio will give him a graceful exit.

The multi-titled coach boasts of a 75-1 international record since USA Basketball’s Jerry Colangelo hired him 10 years ago.

Although it is still too early to say which NBA players will be back on the lineup for next summer, Krzyzewski is optimistic there will be a high return rate.

“Hopefully we can finish things up well with Rio and I would move onto something else with USA Basketball,” said Krzyzewski to ESPN.

“I think it’s time to move ahead. During the next season there will be a number of decisions made about the future of USA Basketball with Rio (the roster) and coaching.”

Krzyzewski, 68, refused to comment on who should replace him or whether it should be a college or NBA coach. But he did say there is one requirement that should be on top of the list — international experience.

“I think it would be good if somebody had experience in international basketball,” expressed Krzyzewski. “They will pick the best person, from whatever — the NBA or collegiate environment. They will pick the best person and complement that person with a great staff and infrastructure so we can have a chance to keep winning.”

He is hoping his successor would be named before they head to Latin America with hopes of wrapping up the Olympics on a golden note.

To Top