It’s official: Mike Krzyzewski is going for gold again.
As was reported two weeks ago, Krzyzewski has agreed to try to lead Team USA to another gold medal at the 2010 World Championships in Turkey and the 2012 Olympics in London. He guided the United States to a gold in Beijing, and after Managing Director Jerry Colangelo offered him the chance to stay on for four more years, Krzyzewski announced he would accept today at a press conference in Las Vegas.
“It was a huge honor to be selected as the USA National Team coach the first time. It is still a huge honor,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “The experience of being the head coach of the USA National Team for three summers was the best experience I’ve ever had in coaching. The upcoming three years will be a new experience and hopefully, it will be as rewarding.”
The rest of Krzyzewski’s coaching staff from the last Olympic cycle–Jim Boeheim, Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillian–will join him on the sidelines again, while the process of selecting the Olympic team begins tomorrow.
Krzyzewski, about to begin his 30th year at Duke, brought his Duke assistants and some staff members with him to Beijing. Associate head coaches Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski served as scouting directors, while video coordinator Kevin Cullen assumed the same role with USA Basketball. Krzyzewski said he hasn’t made any decisions yet, but he expects them to retain similar positions.
“If they’re at Duke, they probably will be involved,” he said. “In other words, if Wojo or Chris got head coaching jobs some place, then that would be difficult. Like, Johnny Dawkins would not be able to continue with us because he’s just taken over his program at Stanford. But those decisions will be made on a year-to-year-basis.”
Please check back with The Chronicle to follow this developing story, and keep reading after the jump to read some of the 2008 players’ testimonials about Krzyzewski.
LeBron James: “Coach K, and the assistant coaches were a perfect fit for the USA Senior National Team in 2006-2008 and I’m confident they’ll again be a great fit for 2010-2012. We worked together for three summers and we all developed a great respect and chemistry that was very important in the successes we achieved.”
Deron Williams: “This is the best possible news for USA Basketball. I am sure that those outside of the United States are disappointed. Coach K is King.”
Carmelo Anthony: “Coach K has made such a big impact on my life and the 2008 Olympics was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. I’m happy to see him and the assistant coaches come back to coach the USA National Team.”
Chris Bosh: “The right staff is being put in place to help the USA National team defend its gold medal. It was a great experience and an honor to have played for them.”
Jason Kidd: “I am very excited for the future of USA Basketball after hearing the great news that Coach K and his staff will be back. They provided an excellent atmosphere for the players to thrive, and win, under. Their combined basketball knowledge are second to none and they have a great way of communicating and motivating players. The future is very bright for USA Basketball.”
Chris Paul: “I am excited about Coach K returning as the coach. We had great chemistry as a unit and worked well with the entire coaching staff. I am looking forward to having another great experience with everyone.”