DURHAM, N.C. — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told ESPN that the 2016 Olympics will be his last coaching the United States men’s basketball national team and that a succession plan to replace him will be announced in the coming year prior to the Games in Rio de Janeiro next summer.
“It is. It definitely is,” Krzyzewski told ESPN about this being his last stint as head coach with USA Basketball. “I think it’s time to move ahead. During the next season there will be a number of decisions made about the future of USA Basketball with Rio (the roster) and coaching.
“There has to be a succession … a planned succession with really good people so we can keep the continuity of the program going.”
Krzyzewski coached the U.S. to Olympic gold medals in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London. He also won the 2010 World Championship and 2014 World Cup. He has a 75-1 record since he was hired by USA Basketball’s Jerry Colangelo in 2005.
He also won his fourth NCAA national title with Duke last April with a victory over Wisconsin in Indianapolis.
“Hopefully we can finish things up well with Rio and I would move onto something else with USA Basketball,” Krzyzewski said. “But I think we’re ready as an organization to do that, and I’m excited about the future because what we’ve done over the last 10 years.”
Krzyzewski said it was too early to say which NBA players would be on the roster next summer, but he is anticipating a high return rate.
“I think most of the players would like to do it, if not all who participated in our mini-camp (in Las Vegas last summer),” Krzyzewski said. “It’s just a matter of a few things — contract, family and health. Those are the three things. If everything was OK, you’d see a great representation. For a few of them, it’s their last go round.
“The commitment a few of these guys have made — all of them have made — is incredible. I think one of the great stories of USA Basketball the last decade is the commitment of our great players.”
Krzyzewski said the latest discussions have centered on the future and who does what?
“(What does) Jerry do? What do I do? Who comes in?” Krzyzewski said. “It’s a new structure with FIBA. A different calendar after 2016 with the World Cup (2019) and Olympics (2020). How we navigate that is being discussed.”
Krzyzewski wouldn’t commit on who should replace him or whether it should be a college or NBA coach. But he did say there should be one key requirement — international experience.
“I think it would be good if somebody had experience in international basketball,” Krzyzewski said. “They will pick the best person, from whatever — the NBA or collegiate environment. They will pick the best person and compliment that person with a great staff and infrastructure so we can have a chance to keep winning.”