Would this former Duke assistant leave the NBA to succeed Coach K?

Mike Krzyzewski, Quin Snyder, Duke Blue Devils. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)
Mike Krzyzewski, Quin Snyder, Duke Blue Devils. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images) /

Utah Jazz head coach Quinn Snyder played his college ball at Duke. What are the chances he ends up replacing his mentor Mike Krzyzewski as the next head coach of Duke basketball?

Replacing a legend like Mike Krzyzewski will be tough sledding for even the best basketball coaches. However, he does have a proven protege doing great work in the NBA in Salt Lake City. So is there any validity to Quin Snyder being Coach K’s eventual successor in Durham?

Snyder committed to Duke University out of Mercer Island, Washington in 1985. He played all four seasons for Coach K in college, helping the Blue Devils make three trips to the Final Four during his undergrad. Snyder returned to Durham as an assistant in 1993, working closely under Krzyzewski until getting the Missouri Tigers job in 1999. Then it all hit the fan for him professionally in 2006.

Snyder resigned in disgrace due to an NCAA investigation into recruiting violations. Mizzou was put on three years probation, as Snyder resurfaced in the then-NBA D-League. After a few assistant jobs, Snyder parlayed a great one-year run with the Atlanta Hawks into getting the coveted Utah Jazz gig in 2014. Snyder has been in Salt Lake ever since, winning a ton of games.

Quin Snyder leaving the Jazz for Duke is highly unlikely, but it is possible

While the age timelines add up, as Krzyzewski is 73-years-old and Snyder is 54-years-old, Snyder arguably has greater job security with the Jazz than he could ever have at Duke. He has two All-Star-level players in big man Rudy Gobert and wing Donovan Mitchell. As long as the Jazz make the Western Conference Playoffs every year or so, he is not getting ousted from his current post.

However, he may never win a championship with the Jazz. Not even the legendary Jerry Sloan could pull that off with Karl Malone and John Stockton in their prime. Some former North Carolina Tar Heel by the name of Michael Jordan made that oh so difficult. Should Snyder decide to give it the college try once more, he would go to a top-five all-time program with a legacy of winning.

Recruiting would not be an issue for him, as Duke basketball sells itself. Yes, the one-and-done era of college hoops could drive him to madness, but Duke is Snyder’s alma mater, and you can never overlook one’s attachment to their school. While he will never be able to fill Coach K’s shoes, Snyder may be the best man equipped to do his darnedest. He can handle the pressure of the job.

If Duke truly wants Snyder to replace Coach K, that might be enough to get him to leave the Jazz.

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