Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will be returning as the head coach of USA Basketball for the 2016 Olympics, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. A formal announcement is expected to come within the next 48 hours.
Krzyzewski led Team USA to gold medals in both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. He’d maintained for months that he would not return before reversing course in an interview with SI.com on Saturday.
Krzyzewski has a 62-1 record with USA Basketball, and his tenure will now be extended to coach in the 2014 FIBA World Championship in Madrid and the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo has stayed confident since the end of the 2012 Olympics that he could persuade Krzyzewski to return. He waited until the end of Duke’s regular season in March to court Krzyzewski. In an interview on Saturday, Colangelo said he would not begin contacting other candidates until Krzyzewski said no.
After USA Basketball’s disappointing and dysfunctional bronze-medal performance in the 2004 Olympics, Krzyzewski did more than lead the Americans back atop the medal stand. He and Colangelo have built a USA Basketball structure that encourages the best young players in the country to compete for spots on the national team. The humbling defeats showed the Americans that they could no longer just show up and beat the best teams in the world, so Krzyzewski and Colangelo transformed USA Basketball from a series of random cameos for some top stars into a well-organized, competitive system.
Krzyzewski will coach the first mini-camp for this Olympic cycle in late July in Las Vegas. Changes are expected to Krzyzewski’s staff, which included Syracuse coach Jim Boheim, former Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni and former Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan in London. Boeheim did say on Saturday that it’s “probable” he’ll return to coach with Krzyzewski.