Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Krzyzewski to coach U.S. Olympians again

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has agreed to a second three-year commitment as coach of the U.S. men’s senior national team.

Krzyzewski will coach Team USA in the 2010 world championships, and in the 2012 Olympics in London. USA Basketball, the national team’s governing body, made the announcement this evening on its web site.

Krzyzewski, 62, was 36-1 in his first three-year stint as head coach of the national team. He coached the team to a gold medal win in Beijing last summer that restored the United States’ reputation as an international power.

Team USA placed sixth in the 2002 world championships. The U.S. earned bronze medals in the 2004 Olympics and in Krzyzewski’s first major international tournament, the 2006 world championships.

“It was a huge honor to be selected as the USA National Team coach the first time," Krzyzewski said in a statement released by USA Basketball.

"It is still a huge honor. The experience of being the head coach of the USA National Team for three summers was the best experience I've ever had in coachin. The upcoming three years will be a new experience and hopefully, it will be as rewarding."

Though some have questioned whether he can remain totally focused on Duke while coaching the national team, Krzyzewski said earlier this summer that his work with Team USA has been helpful to him, Duke’s program and the university.

Before Krzyzewski first was named coach of the national team in 2005, Duke was 648-187 in his 25 seasons with 10 Final Four appearances and three NCAA titles. In four seasons since, the Blue Devils have been 112-28 with no trips to the Final Four.

Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, a former N.C. State player, will join Krzyzewski again as the entire Olympic coaching staff will remain intact.

Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and the New York Knicks’ Mike D’Antoni also will rejoin the staff.

USA Basketball released statements from six players from the 2008 team praising the decision. Among them was former Wake Forest guard Chris Paul, who sounded as though he plans to continue with the program.

"We had great chemistry as a unit and worked well with the entire coaching staff,” Paul said. “I am looking forward to having another great experience with everyone.”

For more information on this developing story, please stay tuned to The Charlotte.

Ken Tysiac