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Duke's Mike Krzyzewski to retire after upcoming college basketball season

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Mike Krzyzewski’s legendary coaching career is nearing its end.

Duke announced Wednesday evening that its longtime men’s basketball coach will retire following the 2021-22 season, confirming an earlier report from Stadium's Jeff Goodman. The school also confirmed that former Duke player and associate head coach Jon Scheyer will succeed Krzyzewski after his retirement.

"My family and I view today as a celebration," Krzyzewski said in a statement. "Our time at both West Point and Duke has been beyond amazing and we are thankful and honored to have led two college programs at world-class institutions for more than four decades."

The 74-year-old Krzyzewski, known to most as "Coach K," has been the head coach of the Blue Devils since 1980. Along the way, Krzyzewski has coached Duke to five national championships, 12 Final Four appearances, 15 ACC tournament titles and 12 ACC regular season championships.

Combined with his five years as the head coach at Army, Krzyzewski has 1,170 career victories as a college head coach — the most in NCAA history.

Scheyer played for Krzyzewski at Duke from 2006-2010 and then joined his staff as an assistant in 2014 after his playing career ended. Scheyer, 33, was promoted to associate head coach in 2018. 

"Duke University has been a central part of my life for more than a decade, and I could not ask for a better place to continue my career," Scheyer said in a statement. "This is absolutely humbling."

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski answers a question at the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college basketball media day in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will reportedly retire after the 2021-22 college basketball season. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Coach K built Duke into national power

Krzyzewski played point guard for Bob Knight at Army. After his military service concluded, he quickly entered the coaching profession. He first worked under Knight at Indiana before becoming the head coach at Army in 1975 at the age of 28. 

Krzyzewski amassed a 73-59 record over five seasons at Army before moving on to Duke. The Blue Devils went through a rebuild at the beginning of his tenure before emerging as one of the top programs in all of college basketball. 

The Blue Devils reached the NCAA tournament in 1984 and 1985, Krzyzewski's fourth and fifth seasons, and then finished as the national runner-up in 1986. Three more Final Four appearances in the decade followed before Duke captured its first-ever national title in 1991, beating Kansas with Christian Laettner leading the way. 

Duke would repeat as champions in 1992, finish as the runner-up in 1994 and 1999 before winning another championship in 2001. Two more titles would come in 2010 and 2015.

Between 1984 and 2019, Duke would only miss one NCAA tournament. That came in the 1994-95 season when Krzyzewski stepped away from the team due to a lingering back injury. 

Duke went just 13-11 last season and snapped a streak of 24 consecutive seasons reaching the NCAA tournament (not including the canceled 2020 tournament, which Duke certainly would have qualified for).

The news of Krzyzewski's retirement comes two months after another college basketball legend, North Carolina's Roy Williams, announced his own retirement. Williams, 70, announced that he was stepping away a few weeks after the conclusion of his 18th season in Chapel Hill. 

Williams won three national championships at North Carolina and coached in nine Final Fours over the course of his legendary career, which also included 15 seasons at Kansas. Williams finished his career with 903 wins, the third-most all-time behind Krzyzewski and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (1,083).

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