Duke basketball has long been one of the most successful and storied programs in college basketball. At the helm of the Blue Devils for over three decades has been Mike Krzyzewski, affectionately known as “Coach K.” During his tenure, Coach K has led Duke to five national championships, 12 Final Four appearances, and 1,170 wins, making him the winningest coach in Division I men’s basketball history. However, in June 2021, Coach K announced that he would be retiring at the end of the 2021-2022 season, leaving Duke searching for a new leader for their program.
Coach K’s Retirement And Succession Plan
Coach K’s retirement announcement sent shockwaves through the college basketball world. His impact on the sport cannot be overstated, and many wondered how Duke would move forward without him. However, Duke was quick to announce their succession plan, with Coach K’s longtime assistant, Jon Scheyer, being named the coach-in-waiting. This means that Scheyer will take over as head coach at the end of the 2021-2022 season, giving him a year to learn from Coach K and prepare for the role.
Potential Candidates For The Next Duke Basketball Coach
Despite Scheyer’s appointment as coach-in-waiting, many potential candidates for the Duke job remain. Here are some of the top names being mentioned:
As mentioned, Scheyer is already in line to be Duke’s next basketball coach head coach. A former player under Coach K, Scheyer has been on the Blue Devils coaching staff since 2013 and has been an assistant coach since 2014. He is widely regarded as one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the country, and his connection to Duke and Coach K makes him a strong candidate.
Wojciechowski is another former Duke player and assistant coach, now a Marquette head coach. He has been with the Golden Eagles since 2014, leading them to two NCAA tournament appearances. Wojciechowski is known for his defensive acumen, ability to develop players, and ties to Duke make him a logical candidate.
Amaker is currently the head coach at Harvard, but he has plenty of experience in the ACC, having previously coached at both Seton Hall and Boston College. He is also a former Duke assistant coach and played for Coach K at Army. Amaker has been successful at Harvard, leading the Crimson to seven Ivy League titles and six NCAA tournament appearances. He would bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Duke job.
Other Possible Candidates
Capel is currently the head coach at Pittsburgh, but he has a deep history with Duke basketball. He played for the Blue Devils from 1993 to 1997 and was an assistant coach under Coach K from 2011 to 2018. Capel has also been a head coach at VCU and Oklahoma, where he led the Sooners to two NCAA tournament appearances. He has a strong recruiting background and a proven track record of success.
Collins is another former Duke player and assistant coach who is now a head coach at Northwestern. He has been with the Wildcats since 2013, leading them to two NCAA tournament appearances, including the school’s first-ever tournament win in 2017. Collins is known for his offensive creativity and his ability to get the most out of his players. His connections to Duke and Coach K make him a possible candidate.
Wright is the head coach at Villanova, where he has won two national championships and been named the Naismith College Coach of the Year twice. He has built the Wildcats into a national powerhouse and is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the country. Wright has ties to the Duke program, having previously been an assistant coach at the school, and his success at Villanova makes him an intriguing candidate.
Analysis Of Potential Candidates
While all the candidates mentioned above have their strengths and weaknesses, it’s worth taking a closer look at each one:
Scheyer’s appointment as coach-in-waiting suggests that Duke believes he is ready to take over the program. He has been with the Blue Devils for nearly a decade and has learned under one of the best coaches in history. Scheyer is known for his recruiting abilities and his work with Duke’s guards, and he has already been instrumental in landing some of the program’s top recruits in recent years.
Wojciechowski has proven himself as a head coach at Marquette, but he is unproven at the highest levels of college basketball. His time at Duke gives him a leg up in terms of familiarity with the program and its culture, but he will need to convince Duke that he is the right person to take over for Coach K.
Amaker’s success at Harvard speaks for itself, but he has never been able to replicate that success at the highest levels of college basketball. His connections to Duke and his experience in the ACC make him an intriguing candidate, but he may be a long shot.
Capel has already proven himself as a head coach at the Power Five level, and his ties to Duke make him a logical candidate. He has a strong recruiting background and has shown that he can develop players at a high level.
Collins’ success at Northwestern has been impressive, but he has yet to show that he can replicate that success at a higher level. His time at Duke and his offensive creativity make him an interesting option, but he may not be ready for the Duke job just yet.
Wright’s success at Villanova is unmatched, but it’s unclear if he would be willing to leave a program that he has built into a national powerhouse. His time at Duke and his success at Villanova make him a strong candidate, but he may be a long shot.
Speculating about who will succeed Coach K at Duke is a national pastime at this point. While Jon Scheyer is the coach-in-waiting and appears to be the favorite to take over, plenty of other candidates could make a strong case for the job.
Whoever takes over for Coach K will have big shoes to fill, but they will also have the benefit of inheriting one of the most storied programs in college basketball history. Only time will tell who the next Duke basketball coach will be, but one thing is for certain: the Blue Devils will remain one of the most intriguing programs in the sport.
Q. When is Coach K retiring?
A. Coach K announced that the 2021-22 season would be his last as head coach at Duke.
Q. Who is the coach-in-waiting at Duke?
A. Jon Scheyer, a former Duke player and assistant coach, is the coach-in-waiting at Duke.
Q. When will Duke announce its new head coach?
A. There is no timeline for when Duke will announce its new head coach.
Q. Who is the best candidate to succeed in Coach K?
A. It’s difficult to say who the best candidate is, as each potential candidate brings their strengths and weaknesses.
Q. Will Duke’s recruiting be affected by Coach K’s retirement?
A. It’s unclear how Duke’s recruiting will be affected by Coach K’s retirement, but the program’s strong brand and history of success should help it continue to attract top talent.