Mike Krzyzewski will be court side for his last game as USA basketball head coach Sunday afternoon when Team USA faces Spain in the gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics. Coach K told the Associated Press that he will step down as USA coach following the gold medal game.
Krzyzewski has been head coach of the USA basketball team for seven years and has done a masterful job at handling all of the NBA stars egos.
Coach K took over the USA basketball program following the 2004 Athens games where Team USA finished with the bronze medal. Since then, he has helped restore the program to glory. Krzyzewski led the “Redeem Team” back to the gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and then to a world championship victory in 2010.
Team USA’s world championship came with a win over Spain — the team they will face in the gold medal game on Sunday.
“If we can win it, then it would be three major championships in a row, which I don’t know when that’s been done because we haven’t usually won the world championships,” Krzyzewski said. “It would be a huge thing for our program.”
Krzyzewski won’t publicly take any credit for the United States regained dominance in the international basketball scene but USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo won’t shy away from giving the Duke head coach all of the recognition he deserves.
“It goes beyond what has happened on the floor,” Colangelo said. “He’s been so important to me in everything we’ve done in building the infrastructure and philosophy and standards — all of it. His legacy goes beyond the record on the court. We’re 52-1, I guess since this all began, and hopefully we’ll be 53-1 after tomorrow. That’s a legacy in itself.”
If Team USA comes away with the gold medal in London, Coach K will join Henry Iba as the only two coaches to lead the Americans to back-to-back Olympic golds.