DURHAM, N.C. (NewsNation Now) — The winningest coach in college basketball history is calling it a career. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski plans to step down after the 2021-22 season.
The university confirmed former Duke player and associate head coach Jon Scheyer would then take over as Krzyzewski’s successor for the 2022-23 season.
“My family and I view today as a celebration,” Krzyzewski said in a statement released Wednesday evening.
Stadium Networks first reported Krzyzewski’s plans.
Now Krzyzewski will have make a final lap — “The Last Ride,” as the program billed it in a social-media post — around the Atlantic Coast Conference and the sport where he has piled up an incredible run of success before handing off to Scheyer, currently 33.
“He is clearly ready for this opportunity and has shown it repeatedly throughout his playing career and as a coach on our staff the past eight seasons,” Krzyzewski said. “Jon is a rising star in our profession and Duke basketball could not be in better hands in the future.”
“Coach K” led Duke to five national championships, most recently in 2015. Of his record 1,170 victories, 1,097 of them came during his 41 years with the Blue Devils.
The basketball world reacted with a mix of praise and surprise.
“I am not shocked as we saw [University of North Carolina head coach] Roy Williams leave & now Coach K,” legendary announcer Dick Vitale tweeted. “The instability & wackiness in college hoops doesn’t make for a fun time.”
Former Duke women’s coach Joanne P. McCallie, who left Duke in 2020 after 13 seasons, told NewsNation’s Marni Hughes she had “a heavy heart” as she considered Krzyzewski’s retirement.
“Coach K is going to do lots of great things in the future,” she said Wednesday on NewsNation Prime. “But he just has a way about him where he’s that combination of intuitive, intense, passionate, but he understands people.”
Krzyzewski began his career on the bench in 1975, leading Army to a National Invitation Tournament berth in 1978 and finishing his time at West Point with a 73-59 record. Since leaving the Black Knights 41 years ago, no other coach has finished their tenure at Army with a winning record.
Krzyzewski left for Duke in 1980, and turned the program into both an ACC and national powerhouse. After consecutive sub-.500 seasons in 1981-82 and 1982-83, the Blue Devils ran off a streak of 11 straight NCAA Tournament appearances (including five consecutive trips to the Final Four), culminating in a pair of national titles in 1991 and 1992.
Prior to this past season, the only time a Krzyzewski-coached Duke squad missed the NCAA Tournament was in 1995, when he missed 12 games due to an injured back.
Coach K returned in 1995-96 and began a run of 24 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including three more national championships in 2001, 2010, and 2015.
Heading into the 2021-22 season, his 1,170 career wins are 87 more than longtime Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, and 267 more than newly-retired UNC head coach Roy Williams.
Krzyzewski’s resume doesn’t stop at the college ranks- he has five Olympic gold medals to his name, having served as the head coach for the U.S. National Team in 1984, 1992, 2008, 2012, and 2016.
“What he has done will never happen again,” McCallie said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report