Source: USA TODAY
Like his players, Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski believes he needs to practice his craft to continue to perform at a high level.
For Krzyzewski, that means he’d never want to coach the U.S. men’s national team in the Olympics if he weren’t currently coaching. So before he made the decision to sign on for the 2016 Olympics, he had that conversation with his wife. Micki Krzyzewski suggested it might be easier to just coach the Olympic team, not Duke, too.
“Really, it’s just the opposite,” Krzyzewski said at a news conference Thursday. “I don’t think anybody should coach the (Olympic) team unless they’re coaching. In other words, you’ve got to stay sharp. I’m coaching in the best league against the best competition and the best players that I can. Doing that, it becomes easier. … You have to do both, I think.”
He admitted that before the London Games, he wasn’t sure how much longer he wanted to be in the profession. At 66, he’s done it all — four national championships at Duke, 11 Final Four appearances, and, with USA Basketball, a 62-1 record that includes gold medals from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.
Until Thursday, Krzyzewski hadn’t said he’d be coming back for Rio in 2016.
“The main thing is, will you still have the drive and the energy and can you give the time that’s going to be necessary to do it?” Krzyzewski said. “The final decision was yes, I can do that.”
In general, Krzyzewski said he plans on continuing to coach.
“Pretty much, I don’t see an end. Obviously I’m not going to end before the Olympics,” he said, solidifying his place at Duke through at least the 2015-16 season.
This upcoming season will be the first with Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame in the Atlantic Coast Conference. A year later, Maryland will leave the ACC, and Louisville will join.
Krzyzewski looks forward to the future of an already highly competitive, deep conference. And now, he’s guaranteed he’ll be around to participate in it.
“We’re going to be a 10-bid conference,” Krzyzewski said. “We’re going to be the best conference in the history of the game.”