Mike Krzyzewski, the winningest coach in men’s college basketball and the architect of Duke University’s premier standing in the sport, is expected to retire at the end of the coming season, a person familiar with his deliberations said on Wednesday.
Krzyzewski has led the Duke program since 1980, winning 1,097 games and five national championships there. But the coach, who will turn 75 next winter, had recently decided to draw his career to an end, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement by the university.
Jon Scheyer, Duke’s associate head coach and one of Krzyzewski’s former players, is expected to succeed Krzyzewski.
A spokesman for the basketball program did not respond to messages on Wednesday.
Although Duke faltered in this most recent season, Krzyzewski’s teams have repeatedly been powers of the Atlantic Coast Conference, where the Blue Devils have won 15 conference tournaments and a dozen regular season championships. They did so with a dazzling blend of players over the years — the likes of Elton Brand, Grant Hill, Kyrie Irving, JJ Redick and Zion Williamson — who showed a prodigious attention to detail and preparation at Krzyzewski’s command.
“We get back early in the morning, maybe 2, 3 in the morning, and he goes and watches film for a couple hours and then he goes home, he sleeps for a couple of hours, and then comes back to the gym in the morning to watch some more film for the next game,” Andre Dawkins, a Duke guard, said in 2011, when Krzyzewski was on the brink of the record for most wins in Division I men’s basketball. “When he does stuff like that, I can’t complain about getting up and coming to practice every day.”
Krzyzewski was also the head coach for three American teams at the Olympics, capturing gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016. And his tenure at Duke and with the Olympic team helped make Krzyzewski, often referred to simply as “Coach K,” into one of the most recognizable figures in sports.
“For four decades, Coach K has been the standard in our profession,” Scott Drew, the Baylor coach who in April won his first national championship, said in a text message on Wednesday, after Stadium first reported Krzyzewski’s intentions. “We have a lot of great coaches, but there is only Coach K.”
Krzyzewski’s decision comes just more than two months after his longtime rival, Roy Williams of North Carolina, announced his retirement from coaching. U.N.C. soon hired Hubert Davis as his successor.