Tag Archives: Steve Wojciechowski

Exclusive Interview With Coach K: Day 2

This is the second of five clips from a June 17 exclusive interview with Mike Krzyzewski that The Chronicle will post this week (the rest will come at midnight every day). In this excerpt, Coach K responds to the common criticism of having former Blue Devil point guard Steve Wojciechowski’s as the team’s big-man coach.

COMING WEDNESDAY: How Krzyzewski responds to intensifying criticism of the 21st century.

MONDAY: Krzyzewski laments DeMarcus Nelson’s postseason struggles.

–by Ben Cohen

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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.

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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

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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?

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