Duke University coach and the United States Sports Academy’s 2012 Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award recipient Mike Krzyzewski will remain in his role as United States basketball coach for Rio 2016 after leading the team to back-to-back Olympic gold medals and a world title in 2010, despite originally insisting that he would be stepping down following London 2012.
The man affectionately known as “Coach K” has an incredible record of 62 wins and one defeat over his eight year tenure, and is widely regarded as the catalyst for American’s resurgence following their disappointing bronze medal at Athens 2004, only the third time the USA have not won Olympic basketball gold in the 17 times they have competed.
The news also means that Krzyzewski will lead the U.S. squad in their defense of their International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup title in Spain next year.
“I think it’s great,” said two-time Olympic gold medalist LeBron James of the news. “What he means to USA Basketball is beyond just what we do on the court. It’s what we stand for as Americans and being proud of the red, white and blue every time we step off the bus or practice or talk to the media or whatever the case may be. I’ve got the utmost respect and trust in Coach K, and whatever he decision was going to be, I think we all would support that.”
The 66-year-old Krzyzewski has served as head coach of Duke University for 33 years and has ensured postseason play in 30 of these years for the Blue Devils, leading them to 13 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, 11 Final Fours and four National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament Championships.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo held off talks with Krzyzewski until his season with the Blue Devils had concluded despite his initial insistence that he would step down from his national duties following London 2012.
Krzyzewski is expected to announce that he will be staying on in his role as USA basketball head coach at a press conference tomorrow.
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com. Inside the Games is a blog of the London Organizing Committee that helped put on the recent Summer Olympics. This article is reprinted here with permission of the authors of the blog.