Nolan Smith Hired as Duke Assistant Coach Under Mike Krzyzewski

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 15, 2021

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 11: (L-R) Associate head coach Jeff Capel, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and special assistant Nolan Smith of the Duke Blue Devils smile following their 99-69 win against the Utah Valley Wolverines at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. The win gives Mike Krzyzewski his 1,000th victory as Duke's head coach and his 1,073rd overall (73 at Army). (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Associate head coach Jeff Capel, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and special assistant Nolan Smith of the Duke Blue Devils in 2017 (Lance King/Getty Images)

The Duke men's basketball team announced former player Nolan Smith will be an assistant coach under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Smith revealed the news in a video on Twitter:

Duke Men’s Basketball @DukeMBB

OFFICIAL: The People’s Champ @NdotSmitty is our new assistant coach‼️‼️#𝔗𝔥𝔢𝔅𝔯𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔥𝔬𝔬𝔡 pic.twitter.com/ilHl3AZoDY

The 32-year-old had been on the team's staff since 2016, starting as a special assistant before becoming director of basketball operations and player development in 2018. He now fills the vacancy left by Nate James, who was named the head coach of Austin Peay earlier this month.

Smith is best known for his playing career at Duke from 2007-11, helping the Blue Devils take home the national championship in 2010 alongside Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler. Scheyer is also on the current Duke staff.

As a senior, Smith led the team with 20.6 points per game and was a consensus All-American.

The guard was taken in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft, but his career lasted just two seasons. After spending time in the G League as well as Croatia and Turkey, Smith eventually ended his playing career and returned to Durham to start his coaching career.

Krzyzewski praised Smith amid the latest announcement:

"Nolan is a rising star. To get him on the court with our players on a day-to-day basis will mean so much to our program. Our players will benefit immensely from his enthusiasm to teach, but also the fact that he's young enough, he can show them. He can still play. We're very fortunate that he and his wife Cheyna are so involved in our program and our community. He is a national champion and has been such a great member of my staff as director of basketball operations, but he's done so much more for our school and our community. Nolan has always used his platform for the good of others. We are so lucky to have him and Durham is even luckier. The staff I'm fortunate to have of Jon Scheyer, Chris Carrawell and now Nolan Smith is a truly special one."

Duke is coming off a disappointing 2020-21 season where the squad finished 13-11 and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1994-95.