It is officially over. After decades and decades, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is walking away from the game of college basketball.
On Saturday night, Duke lost to ACC rival North Carolina in the Final Four finale in front of a jam-packed Superdome in New Orleans. It was reported that 70,602 people flocked to the Bayou to catch a glimpse of Coach K’s final collegiate game, and it didn’t disappoint.
The Tar Heels’ magical season continues, and Coach K’s career comes to a screeching halt just a couple of plays away from a trip to the National Championship Game. Nonetheless, even with everything Coach K has done during a storied career at Duke, he humbled himself and took the high road in the postgame press conference again and again.
Mike Krzyzewski is nothing but humble following gut-wrenching loss to North Carolina
Sadly, things didn’t end as planned. However, they rarely do.
The Blue Devils made a remarkable run to the Final Four, and after Gonzaga lost to Arkansas, it looked like Duke could write the final chapter as a storybook ending to Coach K’s career with a championship.
But, the Tar Heels didn’t let that happen, and they have now spoiled Coach K’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium and the final game of his legendary career.
Despite all of the lights on Coach K after the game, he continuously took the high road and focused on his team and his players.
It was a lot of repetition from Coach K, which shouldn’t be surprising.
It’s never been about Coach K. It’s been about his team, the men he recruited, the players who put on the Blue Devils uniform and proceeded to succeed at the NBA level.
The list goes on and on, and postgame comments like these from Coach K are precisely why a plethora of individuals came to Duke and went on to have nothing but success at the next level.
While this isn’t the way Duke fans were hoping things would end, it serves as another reminder of the kind of person Coach K is: truly one of a kind.
Coach K rides off into the sunset with a historical resume
There is no topping this resume. Not now, not ever.
Coach K ends his career with another Final Four trip. However, North Carolina’s stunning run — which included a victory over defending champion Baylor — will be remembered forever as the final chapter of his tenure.
Since 1980, Coach K has roamed the sidelines at Duke, so many have never witnessed another head coach at the program. Over 1,200 victories, 13 trips to the Final Four, and five National Championships. In his final campaign, a trip to the Final Four trip led by Paolo Banchero, who could go No. 1 overall.
Yet, here we are. Reality is setting in for him, the players, the fans, and the media. Everybody.
The emotion eventually set in for Coach K, but he still kept raving about his players.
Jon Scheyer is the new head coach at Duke, and that is just so strange to see
Everybody knew this day was coming at some point. With Coach K’s final game, Jon Scheyer is officially the new head coach for Duke.
So, who is he?
He played college ball at Duke from 2006 to 2010, then joined the staff as an assistant in 2014. In 2018, Scheyer was named the associate head coach, and in June of 2021, he was named the next head coach when it was revealed that it would be Coach K’s final go around.
The 34-year-old takes over and talk about massive shoes to fill. There are arguably no bigger shoes to fill in sports history than Scheyer taking over for Coach K.
But, oddly enough, North Carolina head coach Hubert Davis had big shoes to fill by taking over for Roy Williams, and now Davis is one game away from a national title.
The end of a long era is over: Coach K retires, and Jon Scheyer takes over. But, the long-lasting memories will live on forever, even if things ended in an unfortunate Final Four loss to an ACC rival.