Report: Coach K might lead Team USA a third time
Reversing his previously stated stance, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told Sports Illustrated on Saturday that he could remain Team USA’s coach for the 2016 Olympics.
In a story posted on the magazine’s website, Krzyzewski said “there is a chance” he’ll remain the U.S. Men’s National team’s coach and strive to win a third consecutive Olympic gold medal.
Ever since he led the U.S. to gold at the London Olympics last summer, Krzyzewski has said he would stay involved with USA Basketball but would no longer coach. His last public comments on the matter came last February, the same month he turned 66 years old, when he said nothing had changed regarding his stance.
But USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo had yet to name Krzyzewski’s replacement. Colangelo didn’t broach the subject with Krzyzewski during Duke’s season.
But since the Blue Devils lost to Louisville in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals on March 31, the two have spoken about Krzyzewski continuing as Team USA’s coach.
“I think it's very close to being resolved," Colangelo told Sports Illustrated on Saturday. “That's all I can say for sure.”
He also told Sports Illustrated, “Give it another week and it should be resolved.”
Attempts to reach Krzyzewski for further comment on Saturday were unsuccessful.
But a source close to Krzyzewski said the Duke coach “loves” coaching Team USA.
The only other coach to lead the Americans in three Olympic games is Henry Iba, who coached the U.S. to gold medals in 1964 and 1968 before a controversial silver medal finish in 1972.
Since there is no international competition this summer, Krzyzewski still has more time to make his decision. The next USA Basketball national team event is a July 22-25 minicamp in Las Vegas.
Team USA will compete in the 2014 World Championships in Madrid. The winner of that tournament automatically qualifies for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
Since being named USA Basketball’s head coach in 2005, Krzyzewski has coached Team USA to a 62-1 record. The Americans won gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and 2012 in London.
In addition, the Americans won the 2010 World Championships in Turkey.
Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski and former Duke associate head coach Chris Collins, now Northwestern’s head coach, were part of the USA Basketball staff in Beijing and London.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim also has been Krzyzewski’s assistant coach for those teams.
On Saturday, Boeheim told Sports Illustrated that he would probably come back to join Krzyzewski’s staff again. But he added that Krzyzewski has not made a final decision about coaching USA Basketball.
“I know that he's probably thinking about it,” Boeheim said. “I don't know if he's really going to do it or not, honestly.”
Colangelo has said that Krzyzewski’s success and the championship culture he’s instilled in USA Basketball have earned him the right to decide how much longer he coaches the national team.
“It’s pretty simple,” Colangelo told The Herald-Sun last summer. “He can be involved as long as he wants to be as long as I’m involved. I don’t have another thing to take up my time. I would be hard-pressed not to have some involvement from Coach K going forward.
“We’ve grown so much over these last eight years and what he’s done in terms of developing this culture, it would be really hard to see us going forward without some involvement on his part.
“It’s really his call.”