Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski announces 2021-22 as final season; Jon Scheyer named next head coach

Duke mens basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. [courtesy GoDuke.com]

Duke men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has won more Division I men’s college basketball games than any coach in history, announced Wednesday that the 2021-22 season will be his final year of coaching.

In 46 years as a head coach at Army West Point (1975-80) and Duke (1980-present), Krzyzewski amassed an NCAA-record 1,170 victories. In 41 seasons in Durham, he led Duke to five NCAA national championships – 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015 – and 12 Final Fours.

“My family and I view today as a celebration,” said Krzyzewski. “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. 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.”

“I can say without hesitation that Mike Krzyzewski is the greatest coach in the history of men’s college basketball,” said Duke President Vincent E. Price. “This is clearly demonstrated by his tremendous success at Duke — 1,170 career wins, five national championships, 15 ACC tournament and 12 ACC regular season titles — 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. Mike, Mickie and the entire Krzyzewski family have been devoted to Duke for more than 40 years, and we are so grateful that relationship will continue for a long time to come.”

“Simply put, Mike Krzyzewski’s legacy – never to be repeated again – is truly mindboggling,” said Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. “To suggest that Mike has more than earned the ‘GOAT’ mantle within the coaching community, both domestically and globally, is perhaps the greatest understatement of all time. Well beyond all the banners, hardware, titles, awards, honors, etc., Mike will long be best remembered, if not deeply respected and admired, for his unabashed love and utter devotion to his players. Again, the consummate teacher, coach, and mentor, coupled with his highly unique curriculum around life lessons and service will surely live at the pinnacle level of his chosen profession in perpetuity.”

“Mike Krzyzewski has built one of, if not the most, iconic basketball programs in the entire world and will forever hold a very special place in Duke’s history and hearts,” said incoming Vice President and Director of Athletics Nina King. “To be sure, he has earned a unique position as a legend and Hall of Famer not only via his innate understanding of the game of basketball but by way of his intrinsic ability to connect and impact so many throughout the sports community and well beyond. Furthermore, his incredible love for his players over 46 years as a head coach is simply unmatched. There is no question, Mike is truly one of the great coaches of all time, in any sport, in the world and we look forward to one more season with Mike Krzyzewski at the helm of Duke Men’s Basketball!”

Jon Scheyer, who played under Krzyzewski from 2006 to 2010 and was a captain of the 2010 national championship team, has been named Krzyzewski’s successor and will be the program’s 20th head coach beginning with the 2022-23 season. One of the most respected assistant coaches in college basketball, Scheyer has spent eight years on Krzyzewski’s staff and was promoted to associate head coach in 2018.

“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,” said Scheyer. “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.

“I’d also like to express my sincere appreciation to President Vincent Price, Kevin White and Nina King for believing in me and providing me this opportunity. 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.”

“It is fitting, then, that after what we know will be an extraordinary final season, Mike will be succeeded by new Head Coach Jon Scheyer, a dynamic Blue Devil leader who has benefitted from Mike’s close mentorship throughout his remarkable career,” added Price. “I am thrilled that Jon, who has been a part of national championship teams as both a player and coach, will be taking on this role. He represents a new generation of excellence in Duke Athletics, and there is no one better prepared or more committed to carry on Mike’s legacy and drive the continued eminence of our Duke Basketball program. Under Coach Jon Scheyer, we will witness many thrilling moments to come in Cameron Indoor Stadium.”

“The continuation of our culture at Duke is paramount to future success,” said Krzyzewski. “That is why I am so grateful that President Vincent Price, Kevin White and 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.”

“Cutting to the chase, Mike Krzyzewski is simply impossible to replace,” said White. “That said, Jon Scheyer is without a doubt the absolute perfect leader to assume this ‘high wire’ challenge. Jon truly embodies all the characteristics of a strong and determined leader, for he is highly empathetic, unequivocally task oriented, instinctively adaptable, flexible and situational, and roughly ‘six standard deviations’ beyond passionate, especially relative to the tremendous aspirations of Duke’s student-athletes. Furthermore, Jon fully understands all the immediate (evolving) challenges facing college athletics, and specifically college basketball. As a contemporary leader, Jon couldn’t possibly be better positioned to help Duke University, and our players, chart the pathway forward within just the right nonnegotiable programmatic culture and philosophy.”

“Jon Scheyer is, without a doubt, a rising star in the men’s basketball coaching world,” said King. “He is well prepared not only to assume his new position relative to coaching Duke Men’s Basketball on the court, but to lead this program into the future especially given the shifting landscape of college athletics. Jon has and will continue to represent Duke University in exemplary fashion, and we are undoubtedly well-positioned for success moving forward as one of college basketball’s elite programs. I am absolutely thrilled for Jon, Marcelle, and their precious family as they prepare to embark on the next chapter.”

The 33-year-old Scheyer has been part of Duke’s two most recent national championships – as a player on the 2010 team and an assistant coach for the 2015 squad. He would be the first in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history to be named the head coach at his alma mater after winning national titles as both a player and assistant coach at that school. At 35 years of age when next season begins, the Chicago native would become the youngest men’s basketball head coach among power conference institutions.

Scheyer will join a fraternity of Coach K’s former Duke players or assistants that are now head coaches that includes Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Kenny Blakeney (Howard), Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Jeff Capel (Pittsburgh), Chris Collins (Northwestern), Johnny Dawkins (Central Florida), Bobby Hurley (Arizona State), Nate James (Austin Peay), Greg Paulus (Niagara), Mike Schrage (Elon) and Quin Snyder (NBA’s Utah Jazz). Nearly two dozen other former Coach K players, assistants and staffers are currently college basketball assistant coaches or serving in NBA front offices.

A press conference for Krzyzewski is planned for Thursday at 11:30 a.m., while a press conference for Scheyer is set for Friday at 11:00 a.m. Both events will be held at Cameron Indoor Stadium and both are closed to the general public.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.