Tag Archives: Johnny Dawkins

Coach K Wants Job To Stay In Duke Family

At his annual summer press conference Tuesday, Mike Krzyzewski said he would not appoint his own successor, because it wasn’t in his right as a men’s basketball coach–that decision belongs to Duke, and Duke only. Earlier in the day, Krzyzewski told The Chronicle in an exclusive interview, though, that he would use his input in deciding his successor to advocate for a replacement with a previous connection to Duke.

“Yeah, I would [want the job to stay in the Duke family],” Krzyzewski said. “I don’t think it should just be my decision. That’s not being a team player, although I would hope that I have some serious input. If we didn’t have anyone in our family who was worthy enough to do it, I’d say you go out of it. But we will have people, and we’ll have more than one.”

So who are those people? Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins, for one. Frenzy about Krzyzewski’s succession plan became relevant again when Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby introduced Dawkins as Krzyzewski’s likely successor. Associate head coaches Steve Wojciechowski and Chris Collins have an abundance of experience on the Duke sideline, but neither has been a head coach. Krzyzewski, however, said that not having a head coaching job on a resume shouldn’t hinder a potential successor.

“I don’t think [Dawkins] needed to [go to Stanford] to be considered. That doesn’t mean he was going to be the coach,” Krzyzewski, 61, told The Chronicle. “When [former athletic director Tom] Butters hired me 28 years ago, I had been a head coach at Army for five years. That helped me, but I had to learn how to coach on this level. There’s a learning curve. Say [Steve Wojciechowski] and Chris [Collins]… the knowledge of what it takes to do it here, is pretty important, especially if we can keep it going. If we don’t stay at a high level, then guys shouldn’t be considered. But if we’re able to stay at a very high level and compete…”

Other members of the Duke family–that is, former Blue Devils or parts of Krzyzewski’s coaching tree–include Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker, Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel. David Henderson is the head coach at Delaware, and Quin Snyder was a former head coach at Missouri. And don’t forget about players, either. After all, in 10 years, Greg Paulus will already be 30!

Check back with The Chronicle starting Monday for audio excerpts from our exclusive interview with Coach K. Before then, what do you think of Krzyzewski’s comments on succession? Offer your opinions below, in the comments section.

Leave a comment

Filed under Men's Basketball

Who Will Replace Dawkins? Nate James

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has announced that Nate James will fill the open assistant coach spot on the Duke bench. James captained Duke’s 2001 national championship team and is currently the squad’s strength and conditioning coach.

He succeeds former associate head coach Johnny Dawkins, now the head coach at Stanford. He joins fellow former Blue Devils Steve Wojciechowski and Chris Collins under Krzyzewski. In a statement released this morning, Krzyzewski also announced that both Wojciechowski and Collins would be promoted to the roles of associate head coach.

We’ll have more about James’ hire as the week goes on and in our first summer issue, which hits newstands May 15.

–by Ben Cohen

Leave a comment

Filed under Men's Basketball

Who Will Replace Dawkins, Part III

Some minor updates since our last post about Duke’s effort to replace former associate head coach Johnny Dawkins on the sidelines:

  • Jason Williams told WRAL he was not interested in the post, opting to remain with the “freedom” of TV as a CBS analyst.
  • Nate James told WRAL that he is extremely interested in the position. “It would be a job I’m definitely hoping to get,” the former player said. “I’m passionate about Duke. I’m around the program learning and preparing myself for the next step.”
  • We’ve heard rumblings about the potential candidacy of Antonio Lang, 1994 Duke graduate and current assistant with the Melco Dolphins in Japan. He’s certainly a name to keep your eye on.

Be sure to check back daily as The Chronicle continues to cover the coaching search, which should wrap up sometime in the next two weeks. Who do you think deserves the job?

–by Ben Cohen

Leave a comment

Filed under Men's Basketball

Miles Plumlee to Duke

Miles Plumlee, a 2008 power forward, committed to Duke Thursday, just one week after he was granted a release from his Letter of Intent at Stanford before former Duke associate head coach Johnny Dawkins was hired. Plumlee is the older brother of 2009 Duke recruit, Mason Plumlee.

Miles will join combo guard Elliot Williams and power forward Olek Czyz in Duke’s Class of 2008, which had another scholarship open because of the transfer of Taylor King to Villanova.

As for our analysis of the commitment? Well, it’s always a positive when you can add a 4-star recruit in May, especially when your frontcourt could still use improvement.

–by Ben Cohen

Leave a comment

Filed under Men's Basketball, Recruiting

D’Antoni’s Duke Connection

Phoenix Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni (or, per SI.com, former Phoenix Suns head coach) works under Mike Krzyzewski on Team USA and had a major influence on this year’s Duke team. After a summer with D’Antoni, Krzyzewski incorporated some of the NBA coach’s innovative offensive techniques to allow Duke to spread the floor and maximize the talent of its wing players, most notably Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler. As The Charlotte Observer noted yesterday, Krzyzewski learned a good deal from his Team USA assistants and should consider bringing in an outside hire to fill Johnny Dawkins’ place on the bench; we assailed that argument, writing that “Krzyzewksi isn’t looking to add Jim Boeheim, Mike D’Antoni or Nate McMillan to his staff.”

Well, if the reports are correct, then D’Antoni is available now. Would he be more attractive than Nate James, Chris Carrawell, Jason Williams, Chris Spatola or any of the other Duke-affiliated potential coaching suspects? Naturally. He’s a former NBA Coach of the Year and, as SI.com’s Jack McCallum writes, is “the man credited with reinvigorating fast-break basketball in a league gone stale.”

This is all in jest, of course. D’Antoni would never become a college assistant after being one of the best coaches in the professional ranks for years, not even for Krzyzewski. But it doesn’t hurt to aimlessly conjecture. Right?

–by Ben Cohen

1 Comment

Filed under Blogdome, Men's Basketball

Who Will Replace Dawkins? Part II

Over at the Charlotte Observer, Ken Tysiac offers his opinion that Duke should try and replace former associate head coach Johnny Dawkins on the bench with an outsider. “Loyal though he is to his former players, Krzyzewski ought to resist the urge to hire any of them,” Tysiac writes. “He should hire somebody who doesn’t have connections to Duke.”

It doesn’t look likely that Krzyzewski will follow Tysiac’s advice, which revolves around the idea that Krzyzewski brought back different coaching philosophies from his experience with Team USA last summer, and the same could be a case with a fresh face on the sideline. Interesting concept, theoretically. An easy point of objection: Krzyzewksi isn’t looking to add Jim Boeheim, Mike D’Antoni or Nate McMillan to his staff.

On Monday, we presented our list of best-bet candidates to replace Dawkins. For better or worse, we stand by that list, and we’ll add former Blue Devil Jason Williams to the longshot list. Just a hunch, though.

–by Ben Cohen

1 Comment

Filed under Blogdome, Men's Basketball

The Man Who Would Replace K?

Before Johnny Dawkins could utter his first public words as Stanford’s new head coach, the Cardinal’s athletic director, Bob Bowlsby, stole the spotlight.

“Coach Krzyzewski said that Johnny was a likely successor to him,” Bowlsby said at the press conference, citing a recent conversation with Mike Krzyzewski.

Of course, the idea that Dawkins could be the man to replace Krzyzewski is not really breaking news. As his former associate head coach and right-hand man, Dawkins has long been rumored to be Krzyzewski’s successor. But this the first time Krzyzewski has publicly acknowledged who he wants his replacement to be.

There’s a caveat now, though. What happens if assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski bolts to take a head coaching job sometime soon and is more successful than Dawkins? What happens if Dawkins doesn’t enjoy the success he expects in Palo Alto? Does he still get the Duke job down the road?

This is all speculation, obviously, as Krzyzewski has said he has no plans of retiring anytime soon. But everyone loves to look into the crystal ball, which leads to the question: What do you think?

1 Comment

Filed under Men's Basketball