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Since taking over head coaching duties of the USA Men’s National team, talks about Coach Mike Krzyzewski retiring have popped up. Duke’s head coach has endured as this decade almost comes to a close. From health issues to just flat out tired of the game, Coach K has dealt with everything you could think of.
Krzyzewski will retire as one of if not the best college basketball coach of all time, taking the basement program in North Carolina to a national Powerhouse. Like all good things, this too must come to an end. For Coach K, that time is getting closer
Nobody has been named the head coach in waiting, but we have a feel who would be the next man up. The observant college basketball fan, that man is Jeff Capel.
Looking at the history between Capel and Krzyzewski, it’s almost father-son like. Capel, a four-year starter for Coach K, has already shown he can lead this program when asked upon.
This is very similar to the situation in Uconn, with former coaches Kevin Ollie and Jim Calhoun. Both were very close, as Calhoun coached Ollie to a career finishing as one of the better players in program history. Just like Calhoun did with Ollie, Krzyzewski reached out to Capel asking him to be apart of his staff.
This was at a time when Capel was dealing with some issues after leaving Oklahoma, a program which he had helped build. Capel has done an outstanding job being second in command. Since coming on board in 2011, Duke has lost some quality assistants Chris Collins (Northwestern) and Steve Wojciechowski (Marquette).
Most programs would have taken a hit after those losses to the bench. Not the Blue Devils. Capel has stepped up being the associate head coach and leading recruiter. He has helped land over 10 McDonalds All-Americans while in Durham.
Replacing Coach K is a tall task. If anyone can handle it, Capel would be able to. As tournament time ramps up and teams punch their tickets to dance in March, jobs will open. Uconn, Ole Miss, Pitt, and Georgia could look appealing.
Can he be patient to see what Krzyzewski does? Or will coach Capel venture out and leave the comfort of Duke to become a head coach again? Time will tell.