Duke University men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has won an NCAA record 1,170 games, will retire after the coming season.
Krzyzewski (pronounced shuh-SHEF-ski), 74, known throughout college basketball as "Coach K," will hang up the whistle after the 2021-22 season, the university confirmed Wednesday evening.
Since he took over in Durham, North Carolina, in 1980, he has led the Blue Devils to 97 NCAA Tournament wins, 12 Final Fours, 12 Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season titles, 15 ACC Tournament crowns and five national championships.
“My family and I view today as a celebration,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “For us, there is no greater joy than being part of our players' respective endeavors through basketball, and more importantly, their lives off the court. Our family is eternally grateful to everyone who contributed to our career for the past 46 years.”
Duke officials heaped praise on the legendary coach.
“Simply put, Mike Krzyzewski's legacy — never to be repeated again — is truly mindboggling,” said Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. “To suggest that Mike has more than earned the ‘GOAT’ mantle within the coaching community, both domestically and globally, is perhaps the greatest understatement of all time.”
The exit was first reported by Jeff Goodman of the sports site Stadium.
Krzyzewski's rival and friend Roy Williams retired from his post leading the North Carolina Tar Heels two months ago. Williams had long runs of glory at Kansas and North Carolina, winning 903 games and bringing national titles to Chapel Hill in 2005, 2009 and 2017.
The ACC Network tweeted Wednesday afternoon: "Hard to imagine college basketball without Coach K and Roy Williams."
Almost as feared as the teams he has coached, the wild game time atmosphere Krzyzewski has had a hand in shaping is notable in college basketball. Duke loyalists, known as Cameron Crazies, have long packed the school's rather modest home at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Cameron hardwood was named Coach K Court in 1990.
The Blue Devils have won national titles under Krzyzewski in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and most recently 2015.
The first title was a memorable one, as he put Duke on the college basketball map with a stunning national semifinal victory over the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, which was then undefeated. The Blue Devils' improbable win came one year after UNLV humiliated Duke by 30 points in the 1990 title game.
Duke and Krzyzewski have been synonymous with college basketball greatness ever since, coming out on top despite radical changes in the sport's landscape.
In the 1980s and '90s, Krzyzewski won with four-year stars like Johnny Dawkins and Christian Laettner.
But as college basketball evolved to become a showcase for "one-and-done" stars, who spend just one year on campus before going pro, Krzyzewski adjusted and lured talents like Zion Williamson, Luol Deng and Kyrie Irving to Durham.
Duke on Wednesday named Krzyzewski's successor — Jon Scheyer. Scheyer played for Duke under Krzyzewski from 2006 to 2010 and helped lead the school to a national title in 2010. Scheyer, who has been on Krzyzewski's staff for eight years and became associate head coach in 2018, will become the program's 20th head coach beginning with the 2022-23 season, the school said.