Even Coach K wonders sometimes

Sep. 30, 2013 @ 07:22 PM

I had the opportunity to sit down with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski for an interview last Friday.

He started with a joke about how he planned to announce his retirement later that day, but he wanted me to know so he could see how I would react to a changing situation.

A great line from someone with A) a great ability to read people and B) a tremendous sense of humor.

The truth is, with all kidding aside, Krzyzewski is really excited to be coaching the Blue Devils this season. This group of athletes has a high ceiling and he’s ready to find it.

But as our conversation went on, he did discuss a time last year when he wasn’t sure he was doing a good enough job to coach Duke or keep coaching the U.S. Olympic basketball team.

In 2011-12, Duke had posted a 27-7 season which most schools would love to have. But the Blue Devils, after going nearly three years without a loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium, had dropped three home games that year. They also were bounced in the ACC Tournament semifinals by Florida State and suffered that humbling early-round NCAA Tournament defeat to No. 15 seed Lehigh.

Krzyzewski thought: “If I screwed up this this bad, I’m not screwing up the Olympics.”

That’s why he went all the way through the 2012-13 Duke season before committing to remain as the Olympic coach for another cycle through 2016.

If Duke would have had another sub-par year, by its standards, he wouldn’t have thought it right to coach the Olympic team if he wasn’t coaching the Blue Devils anymore.

Of course, Duke went 30-6 and made it within a win of the Final Four.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Herald-Sun or check out the whole story online at  heraldsun.com