Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski to Coach U.S. Basketball at 2016 OlympicsErik Matuszewski
Mike Krzyzewski decided to continue as coach of the U.S. men’s basketball team that he’s led to 50 straight victories and will be pursuing a third straight gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The 66-year-old Krzyzewski, who has won four college basketball championships over 32 seasons at Duke University, previously said he wouldn’t return as coach for USA Basketball for the 2013-16 cycle. He led the team to gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Games in London.
“It is tough to give up something you’ve absolutely loved doing for seven years, the people you’re doing it with, and most importantly, the country you’re doing it for,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “There is no greater honor than to coach your country’s team and to be afforded the unique opportunity to be the national team coach three times is incredible. I do not take that responsibility lightly.”
Krzyzewski has a 62-1 record with the U.S. team and will also coach the squad at the 2014 world championship in Madrid.
“We’ve seen the value of continuity and Coach K’s return gives our national team program another four years of continuity,” said Jerry Colangelo, who has been managing director of the national team since 2005. “Together we have been able to build on the program’s successes of each year and again establish the United States as the world’s No. 1 basketball country.”
Krzyzewski and Colangelo joined USA Basketball after the team’s bronze-medal finish at the 2004 Olympics, working together to build a structure in which top players compete for spots on the national team.
The team’s gold medal at the 2008 Olympics was the first for the U.S. in a major international competition since 2000. From 2009 through 2012, the team compiled a 26-0 record, including gold medals at the 2010 world championship and the 2012 Olympics, where LeBron James and Kevin Durant helped the U.S. beat Spain in the title game.
This year’s first practices for the national team will be conducted in July, with a three-day mini-camp in Las Vegas.
Since first fielding a team of National Basketball Association players at the 1992 Olympics, USA Basketball teams have won gold medals in 12 of 15 major international competitions, compiling a 117-7 record in tournament play.