As with most sports programs around the country, Duke is preparing for a future without Coach K and his head coaching legacy. With that in mind, we thought it would be a fun idea to introduce you to a member of current Duke’s coaching staff and his thoughts on the basketball program.
In what can only be described as a bizarre irony, the man who will be tasked with replacing Duke University’s legendary basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, is none other than one of Coach K’s top assistant coaches, Jon Scheyer. Scheyer played his college ball at Duke, under Coach K, and went on to spend four years as a player in the NBA. After that, he had a successful career as an assistant under Coach K at Duke, Boston College, North Carolina and now Duke. Last week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Scheyer had been offered the job. He has yet to accept.
Scheyer couldn’t have picked a better shoe for his first job as head coach The man who should likely replace the winningest basketball coach in history is a former Duke player who moved to the Blue Devils’ bench just eight years ago and was named assistant head coach in 2018. Scheyer has never been a head coach. 2 Connected Mike Krzyzewski single-handedly turned Duke into one of the best programs in college basketball after taking over the team in 1980. Krzyzewski won five national championships, participated in 12 Final Fours, won 12 regular season ACC titles and 15 ACC tournament titles. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. Krzyzewski has led Team USA to gold medals in three Olympics and two FIBA World Championships. That’s the resume of the man Scheyer is expected to replace after the 2021-22 basketball season ends. So who is John Scheyer, the 33-year-old Illinois native chosen to lead one of these blue-blooded programs? Until now, Scheyer was known more for his on-field accomplishments than his coaching career. He is one of the best scorers in Illinois high school basketball history. He won the state championship at Glenbrook North high school as a junior in 2005 and was named Mr. State Champion in 2006. Illinois basketball called. Scheier, a five-star student and winner of the McDonald’s Top Student Award, chose Duke over Illinois, Arizona and Wisconsin. During his four years in Durham, Scheyer averaged 14.4 points and shot over 38% from 3-point range. He led Duke to the national championship in 2010 after being named All-America and First-Team All-ACC as a senior. John Scheyer (right, with Zion Williamson) will become one of the greatest pursuers in sports history. Rob Kinnan-USA Today Sports I think it was a big step for Duke to go to the Final Four and win a national championship, Scheyer told ESPN in 2020, referring to the 2010 title. It’s been a few years. And we did it differently. You could see us growing together and that put us in a good position for next year. Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler come back, Kyrie Irving comes in. That was huge. I even think of myself. Now I work at Duke, so I’m at Cameron every day. I can’t imagine being there and not seeing the 2010 banner. I wouldn’t look at my career with the same precision. That’s the reality. Scheyer did not make the NBA team but played two seasons abroad for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel and Gran Canaria in Spain. He returned to Durham as a special assistant in 2013 and was promoted to assistant coach a year later, then to associate head coach under Nate James in 2018. (James has been the head coach of Austin Peay since this season). A great addition to the Duke basketball staff! Krzyzewski said in a statement when he first hired Scheyer in 2013. John Scheyer is one of the most amazing champions we’ve had in this program, and he’s certainly one of the best young men to ever wear a Duke jersey. He is widely loved by Duke fans. It is incredibly exciting to be a part of his journey to a coaching career. John will bring everything he brought to Duke as a player this time around as a member of our team. We are very proud to have John join Duke. Scheyer’s reputation as a coach has grown steadily since he started at Duke. At first, he was credited with developing Duke’s linebackers, namely Tyus Jones and Luke Kennard. After Jeff Capel left for Pittsburgh, Scheyer took on a larger role in recruiting players and was the primary recruiter of players like Jason Tatum and Zion Williamson. He was linked to several head coaching positions last year, but ultimately returned to Duke for his fourth season as Krzyzewski’s assistant coach. It turned out to be the best decision he could have made. In 10 months, Scheier will likely become head coach of the Duke men’s basketball team.