Mike Krzyzewski Denies Speculation He Could Return to Duke: 'I'm Done' with Coaching

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 6, 2022

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks during a news conference after a college basketball game, against North Carolina in the semifinal round of the Men's Final Four NCAA tournament, Saturday, April 2, 2022, in New Orleans. North Carolina won 81-77. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Former Duke men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski denied any speculation that he could change his mind about retirement in a conversation with college basketball analyst Sean Farnham on ESPNU Radio.

College Sports on SiriusXM @SXMCollege

Will Coach K actually retire or will he come back for one more season? Hear directly from the source ⬇️<br><br>Catch the full episode of Basketball and Beyond with Coach K tonight at 6 Eastern on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ESPNURadio?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ESPNURadio</a>, Ch. 84<a href="https://twitter.com/DukeMBB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DukeMBB</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/SeanFarnham?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SeanFarnham</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoDuke?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoDuke</a> <a href="https://t.co/0zjbEw7Kk8">pic.twitter.com/0zjbEw7Kk8</a>

"I'm done with the coaching part of it," Coach K said in response to a question from Farnham about whether he could return.

Krzyzewski also noted how lucky he was to coach for nearly five decades with Army and Duke and how honored he was to represent both institutions.

ESPN analyst Jay Williams, who starred for Duke under Coach K and won the 2001 national championship, said on ESPN's Keyshawn, JWill & Max Show on Tuesday that he thought there was a "legit chance" Krzyzewski could return.

"It leaves a huge gap at Duke," Williams said (h/t USA Today's Cydney Henderson).

"And the question is, who fills that void from a recruiting perspective? And it leads me to think, which I've been thinking a lot about since I heard this news (Monday), does Coach K come back for another season? One more final season."

A quick return from a brief retirement wouldn't exactly be unprecedented. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady retired for all of 40 days before announcing his comeback.

But another ESPN analyst and former Duke player, Jay Bilas, doesn't believe Krzyzewski will pull a similar move.

"Zero," Bilas said on the Rich Eisen Show when asked if there was a chance Krzyzewski returned (h/t Sam Marsdale of 247Sports).

"Yeah, zero. But if he does it, if he does come back, I hope he does it on one of Tom Brady's most important days—because Brady announced he was coming back during the bracket reveal on Selection Sunday. I think Coach K should time it to one of Brady's most important moments and do that."

Krzyzewski called it a career after Duke's 81-77 loss to UNC in the Final Four last Saturday. He retires with five national titles, 13 Final Four appearances and 1,202 wins. Krzyzewski also won five Olympic gold medals as a coach (three leading Team USA in 2008, 2012 and 2016 and two as an assistant in 1984 and 1992).

Jon Scheyer, who starred for Duke when it won the 2010 national title, has taken over on the sidelines. The 34-year-old served as an assistant coach from 2014 to 2018 before being promoted to associate head coach.