Published August 11, 2012
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has been Team USA's coach since 2005, but that run will end after Sunday's gold medal game against Spain. He restated to media that he will step down from the role of head coach of the United States' senior men's basketball team after these Olympics on Saturday:
Krzyzewski had left open the possibility of staying with the team beyond the London Games, but before practice on Saturday said these will be his last Olympics.
When asked if he was sure, Krzyzewski didn't hesitate before again saying, "yes,'' this will be his last game.
The news, obviously, isn't shocking, as this was somewhat expected. Coach K will be either 53-1 or 52-2 in his tenure after Sunday's showdown, he already has won one gold medal and one World Championships title, with his only loss coming a year after he took the job in the semifinals of the 2006 World Championships to Greece.
Most importantly, Krzyzewski added a semblance of stability to a program that typically didn't focus on international play until a few weeks before the Olympics: precedent before Krzyzewski's appointment in 2005 had been to have the coach of the previous NBA champion head Team USA, a policy that crashed-and-burned when Larry Brown's 2004 squad stumbled to three losses. Krzyzewski emphasized multi-year commitments from players rather than piecing together squads in the aftermath of the NBA year. Team USA will likely seek another long-term stressing dedication to the national program in the wake of Krzyzewski's departure.