Mike Krzyzewski is leaving USA Basketball after seven years, a period in which he helped the United States return to dominance on the international stage.
The Duke head coach announced on Tuesday that he won’t return as USA Basketball’s coach, ESPN reported. Speaking with ESPN Radio’s “Mike Mike in the Morning,” Coach K said that USA Basketball will likely name a successor this summer to prepare the team for the 2014 world championships in Madrid.
As coach, Krzyzewski helped lead the United States back from a dismal performance at the 2002 world championships, where the team finished sixth. The poor play continued at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where the team failed to meet expectations and won only the bronze medal.
Coach K instilled more structure into the system, including a try-out that identified the top players. Behind stars that included LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant, Team USA won gold in 2008 and again in 2012, doing so against a much improved international slate of teams.
“I’ve loved, loved, loved, and it’s been an honor being with the USA Basketball team,” Krzyzewski said. “And to coach the team and work with [chairman and president Jerry Colangelo] for seven years has been marvelous.
“And we’re in a good spot,” Krzyzewski added. “We need to keep building.”
Coach K still has plenty of coaching. The Duke Blue Devils are again a title contender this year. Duke is 24-3 this season and ranked No. 3 on the latest AP Top 25 poll released on Monday.
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