Legendary Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski shocked the basketball community Wednesday when news broke that he would retire after the upcoming season. Krzyzewski’s decision came following a campaign held amid the COVID-19 pandemic during which he prematurely ended Duke’s nonconference schedule and also snapped at a student reporter, but he said Thursday that none of that or anything about the sport, in general, impacted his decision.
In short, Coach K simply wants to spend more time with his wife Mickie and his family.
“You might ask, ‘Why are you doing this right now?'” the coach, who turned 74 years old in February, explained during a news conference held at Cameron Indoor Stadium, per Myron Medcalf of ESPN. “Look, this is not about health. Mickie and I, whether we look it or not — she does — whether I look healthy … I am. It’s not about COVID or saying, ‘Boy, that year was so bad.’ It’s not about that. It’s certainly not about what’s going on with college basketball. ‘Boy, the game is changing.’ All right. I’ve been in it for 46 years. You think the game has never changed?”
He also said that he and his wife “decided the journey is going to be over in a year” but emphasized he’s committed to pursuing one more championship before he rides off into the sunset.
Krzyzewski has already guided the Blue Devils to five national titles and 12 Final Four appearances, and he’s the winningest coach in men’s college basketball history with 1,170 total victories and counting.
Assistant Jon Scheyer will replace Krzyzewski after the 2021-22 season.