Mike Krzyzewski Announces 2016 Olympic Games Will Be His Last as USA Coach

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2015

U.S men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, right, speaks with Chris Paul during the team's minicamp Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
David Becker/Associated Press

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski confirmed Monday he will be stepping down as the United States men's basketball coach following the 2016 Rio Olympics.  

"It is. It definitely is," Krzyzewski told ESPN.com's Andy Katz on whether this will be his last run. "I think it's time to move ahead. During the next season there will be a number of decisions made about the future of USA Basketball with Rio [the roster] and coaching.

"There has to be a succession ... a planned succession with really good people so we can keep the continuity of the program going."

Krzyzewski, 68, has coached Team USA since 2005. He led the program to Olympic gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Games, with Team USA failing to lose a single game. This run has been Krzyzewski's third as an international head coach. He also briefly spearheaded the United States' program in 1987 and 1990 in the final part of the pre-Dream Team era.

"Hopefully we can finish things up well with Rio and I would move onto something else with USA Basketball," Krzyzewski said. "But I think we're ready as an organization to do that, and I'm excited about the future because [of] what we've done over the last 10 years."

USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo had already hinted this would be Krzyzewski’s final run in an interview with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports this summer.

“No. This time I know it’s done,” Colangelo said of Coach K returning after 2016. “I’m already working on the future. But my focus is on '16. I have so much time on my hands that I’m already working on it.”

Colangelo did not say who he was considering for the post. However, he did say he "always did and always will" have one guy in mind for the job. Last year Kentucky coach John Calipari sparked rumors he could take over when he tweeted: "There’s not a college coach in the country that would say no to Jerry Colangelo if he asked them to coach the national team."

Kentucky television personality T.J. Beisner was already stoking the rumor mill: 

TJ Beisner @tjbeisner

Anyone know a coach with international experience and strong relationships with Team USA players? https://t.co/6HLJcx5qza

The United States remains an international juggernaut but has seen the likes of Spain close the international gap. With LeBron James and a number of other high-profile stars possibly hanging up their international gear following the 2016 Olympics, it's best for the next generation of stars to hear a new voice and have a plan in place for the future.

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.


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