Mike Krzyzewski will retire as the Duke Blue Devils' head coach...someday.
And when he does, the person who sits in that seat in Cameron Indoor Stadium will have some monstrously large shoes to fill.
Next to Gene Bartow (John Wooden's immediate successor at UCLA), there may have never been a person who will have a more difficult coaching challenge in college basketball history placed before him.
Not everyone would be up to such a test. And it won't necessarily just be a matter of X's and O's.
Some of these candidates have several years of head coaching experience.
Others have not been a head coach. Still others have not coached at all.
Let's look at 11 possibilities among former Duke players who could take over for Coach K after his retirement.
Christian Laettner is the only college player to start in four consecutive Final Fours. He was a member of both of Duke's NCAA Championship teams in 1991 and 1992.
Laettner holds multiple NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament records: points scored: 407; free throws made: 142; free throw attempts: 167; and games played: 23.
Laettner played for 13 years in the NBA, with being named to the 1993 NBA All-Rookie Team and an NBA All-Star in 1997.
While he has lots of experience as a college and pro player, Laettner has never coached and has been out of the game since he retired in 2005.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Laettner would like to become a college coach.
Most likely, Laettner will have to get going by being a head coach at a smaller school or an assistant coach at a larger school.
At this time, Laettner is not a likely candidate to succeed Coach K when he eventually steps down in Durham.
Jay Williams was a huge success as a player at Duke.
He was the National Freshman of the Year (Sporting News) and the ACC Rookie of the Year.
In his sophomore year, Williams helped lead the Blue Devils to the 2001 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament National Championship.
As a junior, he won virtually every national player of the year award.
Williams was then drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the first round, but his NBA career was cut short by a nearly-fatal motorcycle accident.
As a player, Williams always demonstrated a high basketball IQ.
Having played PG for Coach K would suggest that he knows the game and could lead others as a coach.
But, up until this point, Williams, like Laettner, has never coached.
For the past few years, Williams has worked as an ESPN college basketball analyst.
While Williams has allegedly made statements about not being ready to coach yet, he might make an intriguing candidate.
He wouldn't be the first former player who moved from the studio to the sidelines.
Grant Hill is another Duke player who has an unbelievable catalog of basketball accomplishments. He is considered by many people as one of the best all-around players in hoops history.
Hill was a part of Duke's National Championship teams of 1991-92, a Third Team All-American as a junior (1993) and a First Team All-American as a senior (1994).
He was selected as the National Defensive Player of the Year in 1993-94.
In his 16-year NBA career, Hill was named co-Rookie of the Year (1995) and a seven-time All-Star.
Grant Hill still has some productive years left as a player, and I'm not sure whether he has any intention of coaching after he is through playing.
But if he did, he might have a quicker route to a major coaching position.
Gene Banks was a two-time NCAA All-American at Duke.
As a freshman, he was selected as the ACC Rookie of the Year.
He led the conference in scoring as a senior, and then was given First Team All-ACC honors that same year.
Following his career at Duke, Banks was selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round (28th overall) of the 1981 NBA draft.
He played four seasons (1981-85) for the Spurs before being traded to the Chicago Bulls, where he played the final two seasons of his NBA career (1985-87).
Also, Banks played and served as player/coach overseas in France, Israel, Italy and Argentina.
He has coached the women’s program at Bluefield State and spent two seasons as the head coach and athletic director at Bennett College.
Gene Banks has been an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards since 2009 with the responsibility of player development.
Though Banks has an extensive basketball resume and was inducted into the Duke Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994, his lack of head coaching experience would most likely eliminate him from any serious consideration as Coach K's eventual replacement.
Nate James was a two-time team captain, played on a pair of Final Four teams, including Duke’s 2001 National Championship squad.
He earned All-ACC and ACC All-Defensive team honors in his 2001 senior season.
James played professionally in the United States and overseas from 2002-2007.
After his playing days were over, James joined the Blue Devils’ coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2008.
Upon the hiring of Jeff Capel this past spring to the Duke coaching staff, James was moved to the position of "special assistant."
James' "low-man" status doesn't bode well for him as far as future consideration for Coach K's replacement.
Bobby Hurley is arguably the best point guard in Duke basketball history.
Hurley was a first-team All-American in 1993, went to the Final Four three times, and led the Blue Devils to back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992, earning Final Four MVP honors in 1992.
He is the NCAA all-time assists leader with 1,076 assists, and Duke's single game assist leader with 16 (against Florida State on Feb. 24, 1993).
In 2002, Hurley was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team as one of the 50 greatest players in Atlantic Coast Conference history.
Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings as the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA draft.
Early in his rookie season, Hurley was in a car accident where he sustained life-threatening injuries. After recovering from this, he played four more seasons in the NBA.
This past spring, Hurley was hired as an assistant coach for his younger brother, Dan, at Wagner College.
Because of his standing in the program, if Hurley stays with coaching, and continues to move forward, he could have an outside chance to be considered as a candidate.
Steve Wojciechowski was a hard-nosed, never-say-die floor leader for the Blue Devils in the late 90's.
Wojo played a major role in the resurgence of Duke basketball over his last three years as a collegian.
Following a difficult freshman campaign in which the Blue Devils went 13-18, he helped pace the program to a 74-26 mark over the next three seasons.
Along with being the top defensive player in the country his senior year, the two-time All-ACC choice also secured honorable mention All-America accolades from the AP.
Wojciechowski ranks eighth in career steals with 203 and eighth in career assists with 505.
Following his playing days in Durham, Wojciechowski played professional basketball in Poland for a year.
He began his career as an assistant coach in 1999, and was promoted to associate coach in 2008. Wojciechowski has been on the staff for two National Championships.
Though he doesn't have any head coaching experience, Wojo still would have a shot at being considered as Coach K's eventual replacement.
Out of everyone on this list, Chris Collins' playing career was the least prominent.
Collins was named to the All-ACC rookie team as a freshman in 1993
He was a Duke team captain as a senior and four-year letterman from 1993-96.
Collins currently ranks 10th among Duke’s all-time leaders in three-point field goals (209) and three-point field goal attempts (539).
After graduating from Duke, he played professional basketball in Finland for two years.
Collins returned to the United States and became an assistant coach in the WNBA for the Detroit Shock for one year and at Seton Hall for two years.
In 2000, he returned to Duke as an assistant coach and was promoted to associate coach in the summer of 2008.
While Collins has never been a head coach at any level, he occupies an influential position on the current Blue Devil coaching staff.
Because of this, he would have an outside chance of being considered as Coach K's replacement.
Watch Chris Collins and other Duke basketball stars take part in a panel discussion about Duke Men's Basketball Across the Decades
Johnny Dawkins was a two-time All-American and National Player of the Year in his years at Duke.
Dawkins became the team's all-time leading scorer with 2,556 points, which stood until 2006 when J. J. Redick surpassed it.
In his senior season, he and the Blue Devils reached the 1986 NCAA championship game, where they lost to Louisville.
Dawkins went on to play nine years in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons.
He joined the Duke coaching staff in 1998, and was promoted to associate head coach in charge of player development in 1999.
He was on the Blue Devils' coaching staff until he was hired as the Stanford head coach in 2008.
Dawkins extensive playing and coaching resume, plus his standing within the Duke program, makes him a likely candidate for consideration when Coach K eventually retires.
While he played at Duke, Tommy Amaker set school records for assists and steals that were later broken by both Bobby Hurley and Steve Wojciechowski.
Amaker was the first winner of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Defensive Player of the Year, and he earned 1987 NABC All-American third-team recognition.
Following his graduation in 1987, Amaker joined the Duke coaching staff, where he served for nine years.
In 1997, at the age of 32, he was hired as the head coach at Seton Hall, where he took the Pirates to the post-season all four years of his tenure.
In 2001, Amaker was hired as the head coach at Michigan, where he posted a 108-84 record in six years..
In 2007, Amaker went after a new challenge: coaching at Harvard, where he went from posting a first-year record of 8-22 to having the winningest season in school history in the third season.
Last year, his fourth year at Harvard, he improved even further, tying for first in the Ivy League with a 23-7 record.
Tommy Amaker will be on a very short list when Duke eventually looks to replace Coach K when he retires.
Jeff Capel is the most likely candidate of all the former players to replace Coach K when he retires.
Capel became a starting guard for Duke as a freshman and continued to start his entire four years.
He finished his career among Duke's all-time Top 10 in minutes played, three-point field goal percentages, three-point field goals and assists.
After Duke, Capel played professional basketball for two years, playing in France and the CBA. Capel was also drafted in 1997 by the Raleigh Cougars of the USBL.
Capel started his coaching career as an assistant for his dad at Old Dominion. After one year, he was hired at Virginia Commonwealth as an assistant coach.
After one year as an assistant at VCU, he was promoted to head coach.
He coached the Rams for four years with a record of 79-41.
In 2006, Capel was hired as the head coach at Oklahoma where he was 96-69.
His total winning percentage in nine years of head coaching is 61.8 percent.
He is currently back at Duke as an assistant coach.
While he may not officially be the coach-in-waiting, Capel could very well have been brought in with the purpose of looking at how he does in the program so that he could be considered as Coach K's eventual replacement.