Legend Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski retires

The GOAT Coach K finishes his final season as a head coach

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Lucas Stone, Staff Reporter

At the beginning of the 2021-2022 college basketball season, one of the greatest coaches of all time announced that he would be retiring after the season. When he came out with the news everyone knew that college basketball would not be the same without Coach K. One of those people Gunnar Duncan(24) felt that as well. He said, “It was so much different because of the amount of years he had been the coach and the success he gained each year. I don’t think will be able to gain that much success and have it as consistent as Coach K.”

In his final season, he and his assistant coach John Scheyer got one of the top recruiting classes to try and put a cherry on top of his amazing career. Because it was his final year of coaching, it put a lot of pressure on the kids to make the last season one to remember. The last home game of Coach K’s career was against their biggest rivals North Carolina. Throughout his 42 seasons as the Duke men’s basketball head coach, he has battled with the Tar Heels during his entire career. When the buzzer sounded during his final home game, it was a tough loss to UNC 94-81. Even though his final home game ended in a loss, his season wasn’t over. Coach and his Duke team still had conference tournaments and his final NCAA tournament to play in. 

In the ACC tournament championship, the Blue Devils took a loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies ending their final game before “The Big Dance.” Going into the tournament, all eyes were on Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils. Everyone had a feeling that they were going to make a deep run in the tournament, but they had one of the toughest roads to the final four. As the two seed, they took on CSU Fullerton in the first round and got some of the nerves out defeating them 78-61. In the round of 32, they took on Tom Izzo and the Michigan St. Spartans and it was a much closer battle. It was head-to-head for most of the game, but Duke ended up pulling ahead and getting the victory 85-76. In the Sweet 16, Coach K had to take on the three seed in the tournament Texas Tech. It was a very close affair between the two, but the Blue Devils came out with the win 78-73. Going to the West Region Championship, Duke defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks just after they upset the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the previous round. Coach K’s final season couldn’t have been drawn up any crazier. He took on the North Carolina Tar Heels for their first meeting ever in an NCAA tournament, but to make it better, it was in the Final Four. It was a game to remember, but it brought Coach K’s coaching career to an end. They were defeated by UNC 81-77 and the GOAT’s career was over. 

He was asked after the game about how he was feeling about his career coming to an end after a tough loss to his rivals. He said, “It’s not about me, especially right now. As a coach, I’m just concerned about these guys. I mean, they’re already crying on the court, and I mean, that’s the only thing you can think about. And then I go into the locker room …”

Even though his career ended with a devastating loss to his biggest rivals throughout his coaching career, he still had a career to remember. Through his 42 years of coaching at Duke, he won five national championships, had 13 final four appearances, and was the first men’s basketball coach to reach 100 tournament wins. He also has 1,202 career wins and won many different awards throughout his coaching career. He won the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year, Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year, Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, Legends of Coaching Award, NABC NCAA Division I Coach of the Year, Sporting News Sportsman of the Year Award, and UPI College Basketball Coach of the Year

Throughout his career, he accomplished many wins, rings, and awards which is why some people consider him to be the greatest coach of all time. 

For the following seasons for Duke, Coach K gave the head coaching job to his assistant Jon Scheyer. He has already gotten a good start as the head coach having the top recruiting classes for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 seasons. Duncan said “I think that he will be just fine with the head coaching job. He has worked with Coach K for the past couple of years and knows how to do most of the tasks that he is given.