Mike Krzyzewski is making headlines throughout the season largely for his farewell tour; however, not all conversations were positive, such as the coaching situation mentioned in Ian O’Connor’s new book, Coach K.
Excerpts from the long-awaited book took over the sports world on the same day as Duke’s home game against Wake Forest. These excerpts included a report on how Krzyzewski took over the search for his successor.
Duke President Vincent Price reportedly wanted to hire former Blue Devils guard and current Harvard coach Tommy Amacker, while Krzyzewski preferred current associate head coach John Scheyer.
According to ESPN, the iconic coach of the Blue Devils “began to stop” when the report came out, which also said that “Krzyszewski’s goal is to maintain control over the program.”
Debbie, his wife, told ESPN that “he didn’t feel well all day because he was really upset.” She added that he tended to think out loud, so she sat down with Mike to discuss the matter.
But there is more to this discussion of learning and continuity than how the titles are read. ESPN’s Wright Thompson wrote that “the belief around Coach K. is that the source quoted in the book exaggerates the coach’s desire for control once he’s gone.” However, “a source close to both Coach Kay and Amaker described O’Connor’s report to me as accurate. What is clear from this private dispute, which has become public, is that the succession plan has left some damaged feelings. ”
At the end of the day, Krzyzewski was worried about hurting the feelings of a “tribal member”.
Amaker played for Duke from 1983 to ’87 and still holds the school record for consecutive games (138). He served as an assistant coach for the program in the 1990s before moving to coach at Seton Hall. He later coached Michigan and Harvard. Shyer, who also played for Duke, has never coached another program.
Saturday marks Krzyszewski’s last game of the regular season and happens to be against Duke’s Tobacco Road’s rival, North Carolina. Heading into the game, the Blue Devils will do no worse than a tie for first place in the ACC regular season standings for the first time since 2010. If Duke comes out as the better son and defeats Tar Heels, it will be the first since 2006 the program ranks first.
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