Duke Basketball: How Much Longer Will Coach K's Staff Stay Intact?
Continuity of leadership is a key factor in successful college basketball programs.
Having an excellent coach and staff in place for an extended period of time impacts everything.
Effective recruiting, consistent player development and coherent strategy is a short list of the benefits when good coaches and their assistants stick around for more than a season or two.
Mike Krzyzewski has been the head basketball coach at Duke for 32 years.
That's a long time.
In 2007, Statefansnation.com posted an article on coaching tenure. It stated that
"ACC coaches have an average tenure of 7.6 seasons at their respective schools, the most of any of the major conferences."
Simple math says that Coach K has more than quadrupled this standard.
His current staff has been together for longer than most coaching teams.
Here's a quick look at the Duke basketball staff and some thoughts on how much longer they might stay intact:
Jeff Capel, Assistant Coach
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Jeff Capel joined the Duke coaching staff a little more than a year ago.
After weathering a intense coaching storm as the head coach at Oklahoma, the 1997 Duke grad needed a few years to regather and recoup before heading out for another top assignment.
Because of his time at OU, and before that as head coach at Virginia Commonwealth, he will move back into a high-level job as soon as he is ready to head back in that direction.
Even though he is the most recent addition to Coach K's staff, don't be surprised if Capel is the first Duke assistant to move on, maybe as soon as following the 2012-13 season.
Chris Collins, Associate Head Coach
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Chris Collins joined the Duke staff in the summer of 2000.
He played for the Blue Devils from 1992-1996 and was selected as a captain his senior season.
Before joining Coach K's staff, Collins served as an assistant coach at Seton Hall for two years with Tommy Amaker, another former Duke player
His major focus on the Duke staff has been to develop the Blue Devils' perimeter players.
This past year, Collins allowed his name to run for the Illinois State job
However, he withdrew his name from the search, saying that he wants to be a head coach, "but it was not the right fit for me and the university at this time."
If the Blue Devils go deep into the 2013 NCAA Tournament, watch for Collins' name to appear on a variety of short lists for some pretty nice coaching gigs.
Steve Wojciechowski, Associate Head Coach
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Steve Wojciechowski was one of the most intense competitors to play the college game.
"Wojo" impacted the game at both ends of the court, but he made the biggest difference on the defensive end.
In fact, in 1998, he was selected as the National Defensive Player of the Year.
As a part of Coach K's staff, Wojciechowski has developed the Blue Devils' big men. Some people don't think that a player who never played down low shouldn't be coaching post players.
I disagree. Duke's frontcourt bigs have played a significant role in Duke's success (two NCAA Championships, one other Final Four and six Sweet Sixteen's) since Wojo took charge of that role in 1999.
Many of them have won ACC and national defensive awards, just like their mentor.
Wojo has expressed his desire to become a head coach:
"I want to be a head coach and run my own program and do the things that happened to me at Duke. I want to do that for other kids. Finding a school that matches who I am as a person and the vision I have for the program is really important. It's something I'm looking forward to."
Just like Collins, if the right situation comes along after this season, it could be bye-bye Wojo.
Mike Krzyzewski, Head Coach
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Coach K is Duke Basketball.
Going into the 2012-13 season, Mike Krzyzewski has won 927 college basketball games, 854 of those victories have come since he came to Durham in 1982.
He is currently coaching Team USA at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London—his last time to lead the men's team.
Other than that, at age 65, Krzyzewski shows very few signs of calling it quits.
If K's health stays good, he could conceivably coach until he is 70 (the 2016-17 season), which would easily put him over 1000 career wins.
One reason he may not stay that long is if his assistants start leaving and he has to do a major rebuilding of his staff.