On October 26, 2005, it was announced that Mike Krzyzewski would be the head coach of the United States Senior National Team Program. In short, Krzyzewski’s mission was to re-establish the USA’s position in international basketball by coaching a three-year program made up of a pool of 24 players — the first of its kind in the United States — leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games in China.
“For me, this is the ultimate honor in coaching,” said Krzyzewski. “It is a chance to represent the United States at this elite level of basketball. I am honored to be chosen and look forward to the opportunity to develop this team that will represent our great country in its own sport, both on and off the court.”
By instilling the same team-first principles he utilizes as the foundation for success at Duke, Coach K led the USA squad to a bronze medal at the 2006 World Championship and a gold medal at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship. Led by a host of stars, including Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Jason Kidd, Team USA finished the FIBA Americas with a 10-0 record and claimed a spot in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“Mike Krzyzewski is the right man at the right time,” said Jerry Colangelo, who was appointed Managing Director of the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team program on April 27, 2005. “His professional record speaks for itself. His loyalty and commitment to his country is more than self evident and his success as a leader of men is also a part of who he is.”
With Krzyzewski at the helm, Team USA reclaimed the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics with a 118-107 victory over Spain. Krzyzewski guided the U.S. squad to a perfect 8-0 record in the Olympics as the team averaged 106 points per game while winning by an average margin of 27.9 points per contest. In the summer of 2007, he guided the USA squad to a gold medal victory and an unblemished 10-0 record in the FIBA Americas Championship.
“[Coach K] is everything I thought he would be and more. I have been excited and waiting for this opportunity for a long time. Playing for him now, you realize why he is such a great coach. He communicates extremely well with his players. He’s very intense and has a passion for what he does and he has a great sense of humor.”
— Kobe Bryant
“The first thing is communication, which he does very well because he likes to teach. He makes things easy because he gives you what he wants to see out there, which makes it easy for a point guard. I think he would do great in the NBA, but we all know that he has a great gig at Duke.”
— Jason Kidd
“Getting to know him off the floor means more than anything to me. Everyone knows Coach K as a basketball coach, but not everyone knows how good he is as a person. It’s all about comfort level with me. I feel comfortable around him, and that allows me to open up a little bit more. That’s good for me.”
— LeBron James
Coach K and International Basketball
Coach K has always been an active part of USA Basketball in various roles, serving as past chairman of the Player Selection Committee for all of the United States’ teams, including the 1991 Pan Am and 1992 Olympic teams. Coach K was an assistant to Chuck Daly (a former Duke assistant coach) at the Olympics and won the gold medal in Barcelona with the “Dream Team.” Christian Laettner was a member of that team, while 1994 graduate Grant Hill was a part of “Dream Team II” in Atlanta.
Coach K was the USA head coach in 1990 when he led the Americans to a bronze medal at the World Championships and a silver medal at the Goodwill Games in Seattle. He also paced the USA to a silver medal at the 1987 World University Games and was a special assistant to Bob Knight at the 1984 Olympics. In addition, he has had previous coaching duties at the National Sports Festival (gold medal in 1983) and Pan Am Games.
International Coaching and Administrative Experience
- Pan American Games, 1979 Assistant Coach
- National Sports Festival, 1983 Head Coach
- U.S. Olympic Team Trials, 1984 Assistant Coach
- Summer Olympics, 1984 Special Assistant
- World University Games, 1987 Head Coach
- USA Basketball Games Committee, 1989-92 Member
- Goodwill Games, 1990 Chairman, Player Selection Subcommittee
- Goodwill Games, 1990 Head Coach
- FIBA World Championships, 1990 Head Coach
- Summer Olympics, 1992 Assistant Coach
- USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team, 2006-08 Head Coach
International Coaching Record
- 1979 USA Pan American Games Team Assistant Coach 9-0 / Gold Medal
- 1983 USA Olympic Festival South Team Head Coach 3-1 / Gold Medal
- 1984 USA Olympic Team Trials Assistant Coach Not Applicable
- 1984 USA Olympic Team Special Assistant 8-0 / Gold Medal
- 1987 USA World University Games Team Head Coach 7-1 / Silver Medal
- 1990 USA Goodwill Games Team Head Coach 3-2 / Silver Medal
- 1990 USA World Championship Team Head Coach 6-2 / Bronze Medal
- 1992 USA Olympic Qualifying Team Assistant Coach 6-0 / Gold Medal
- 1992 USA Olympic Team Assistant Coach 8-0 / Gold Medal
- 2006 USA Senior National Team Head Coach – FIBA World Championship 8-1 / Bronze Medal
- 2007 USA Senior National Team Head Coach – FIBA Americas Championship 10-0 / Gold Medal
- Totals 10 International Competitions 68-7 (.907)
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.