(CNN)Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski, the all-time winningest coach in men’s Division I college basketball, is set to retire following the Blue Devils upcoming 2021-2022 season, according to a news release from the university.
Stadium and ESPN were the first Wednesday to report Krzyzewski’s retirement plans.
“Coach K,” as he is affectionately known, has led the men’s program to five national championships in 41 seasons and won 1,170 games overall. Duke won its national championships under Krzyzewski in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015, according to the NCAA. Krzyzewski led the Blue Devils to 12 Final Fours, Duke’s release said.
Krzyzewski said in a statement he and his family viewed the retirement announcement as a celebration. He is also “thankful and honored” to have led two college programs — West Point and Duke — along with the United States National Team as head basketball coach.
“Certainly, I have been blessed to coach some of the finest young men and greatest players in basketball history as a direct result of these unique opportunities,” Krzyzewski said. “For us, there is no greater joy than being part of our players’ respective endeavors through basketball, and more importantly, their lives off the court.”
Krzyzewski’s retirement announcement comes two months after his legendary rival, UNC head coach Roy Williams, retired in April.
“Mike’s been fantastic for the game of basketball. He’s been fantastic for college basketball. He’s been fantastic for the ACC, the greatest rivalry in sports — Duke-North Carolina basketball,” Williams told the Fayetteville Observer on Wednesday. “He’s been a good friend, he’s been a guy I respected a great deal. He made everybody bring their A-game for years.”
Krzyzewski has chosen Duke associate head coach and former Blue Devils player Jon Scheyer to become the school’s next head coach, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.
A press conference for Scheyer and Krzyzewski are scheduled for Thursday, Duke’s release states.
Krzyzewski served in the military prior to coaching
Krzyzewski was an Army officer between 1969 and 1972. He left the military as a captain, Duke’s release says.
From there, he held a coaching position at the US Military Academy Prep School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for two years before landing a graduate assistant coaching position at Indiana University, the release said. He’d do this for another year before returning to his alma mater, West Point, in 1975 as a head coach.
Krzyzewski then took the reins as Duke head coach in 1980, according to the university.
While at Duke, Krzyzewski developed some of the biggest stars in the NBA, including Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
Outside of Duke, Krzyzewski was also appointed head basketball coach of the United States National Team in 2005. Under his reign, Team USA won gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics, according to Duke’s website.
Krzyzewski, who will turn 75 in February 2022, was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
“I can say without hesitation that Mike Krzyzewski is the greatest coach in the history of men’s college basketball,” said Duke President Vincent E. Price. “Mike, Mickie and the entire Krzyzewski family have been devoted to Duke for more than 40 years, and we are so grateful that relationship will continue for a long time to come.”
Kevin White, Duke vice president and director of athletics, said in a statement Krzyzewski’s legacy is “mindboggling.”
“To suggest that Mike has more than earned the ‘GOAT’ mantle within the coaching community, both domestically and globally, is perhaps the greatest understatement of all time,” White said. “Mike will long be best remembered, if not deeply respected and admired, for his unabashed love and utter devotion to his players.”
Scheyer played for Krzyzewski between 2006 and 2010. He was also a captain on the 2010 national championship team. He has spent eight years on the Duke coaching staff and was promoted to associate head coach in 2018.
“Coach K has built the premier program in our sport thanks to his unwavering competitive edge, a tireless attention to detail, a family-first approach and a remarkable compassion and care of his players, coaches, and staff,” Scheyer said. “He has set a standard that every coach at every level should strive to achieve.”