Gregg Popovich to succeed Mike Krzyzewski after 2016 Olympics

By The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 24, 2015 at 1:56 AM
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San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will succeed Mike Krzyzewski as head coach of the U.S. men's basketball team after the 2016 Olympics.

USA Basketball announced Friday that Popovich, who has led the Spurs to five NBA titles, will take over starting with 2017 training camp and lead the Americans into the 2019 Basketball World Cup in China and 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, assuming U.S. qualification.

Krzyzewski, who is Duke's head coach, is planning to step down after the Rio 2016 Games. Coach K led the USA to Olympic gold medals in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London.

Popovich, 66, was the choice of USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. Krzyzewski will stay on as a special adviser to Colangelo for the 2017-2020 period.

Popovich was a U.S. assistant in the 2002 world championships and 2004 Olympics. Popovich owns a 1,022-470 all-time regular-season coaching record. He has been the NBA's Coach of the Year three times (2003, 2012, 2014).

"I'm extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to represent our country as the coach of the USA National Team," Popovich said in a statement. "What the program has accomplished over the last decade under the leadership of Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski is truly impressive. I will do my utmost to maintain the high standards of success, class and character established by Jerry, Coach K and the many players who have sacrificed their time on behalf of USA Basketball."

Colangelo will continue as managing director of the national team, a position he has held since 2005.

"I'm absolutely delighted to announce Gregg Popovich as head coach of the USA Basketball Men's National Team for 2017-20," Colangelo said. "There is no doubt in my mind that we have the great fortune of bringing on board one of the NBA's best and most successful coaches ever to lead the USA National Team for the 2017-20 quadrennium. By making this decision now, it will allow us to have a clean, efficient and immediate transition following the 2016 Olympic Games."

Krzyzewski, who won his fifth NCAA national title with Duke in April, also won the 2010 world championship and the 2014 World Cup. He has a 75-1 record since he was hired by Colangelo in 2005.

"I am honored, and thrilled, to continue with USA Basketball in the role of special advisor. Since Jerry Colangelo invited me to play a larger part in the USA Basketball program in 2005, this experience has been so rewarding professionally and personally," Krzyzewski said. "Some of the most exhilarating moments in my coaching career have occurred because of that association, so I am humbled to continue the affiliation with USA Basketball in this capacity. Until then, we have significant work to do to properly prepare our team for the challenges we'll face in Rio at the 2016 Olympics.

"Gregg Popovich is the ideal choice to take over as head coach of the USA program. His long track record of success -- both in terms of winning championships and creating a culture of excellence -- are well documented and, rightfully so, he is considered among the very best coaches in the world. Because of his military background in which he selflessly served his country, coupled with his unique ability to bring out the best in his teams, this leadership appointment makes perfect sense. Undeniably, he will incorporate the highest of standards, which are unique to him, that will only enhance the USA Basketball program. I look forward to working with and learning from Gregg and Jerry Colangelo as they lead Team USA into the future."

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