The next Duke head coach is a man that, in the eyes of Blue Devil fans, needs no introduction.
With the announcement that Mike Krzyzewski will be stepping down after the 2021-22 season, college basketball as a whole received a shock to the system. But clearly, everyone involved with the decision was prepared for the news, as Krzyzewski’s replacement has already been named—former Blue Devil point guard and current associate head coach Jon Scheyer.
"Duke University has been a central part of my life for more than a decade, and I could not ask for a better place to continue my career," Scheyer said in a team release. "This is absolutely humbling. First, I offer extreme gratitude to the greatest coach of all time whose career is unrivaled in basketball. Coach K has built the premier program in our sport thanks to his unwavering competitive edge, a tireless attention to detail, a family-first approach and a remarkable compassion and care of his players, coaches, and staff. He has set a standard that every coach at every level should strive to achieve."
Since 2013, Scheyer has been part of the Blue Devil brain trust, initially as a special assistant. Over time, though, the former Duke floor general and captain was elevated by Krzyzewski, first to full-time assistant in 2014 and then to associate head coach in 2018.
"I'd also like to express my sincere appreciation to President Vincent Price, [Vice President and current Director of Athletics] Kevin White and [incoming Vice President and Director of Athletics] Nina King for believing in me and providing me this opportunity," Scheyer said. "It is an honor to call this great institution my alma mater, and I'm deeply committed to furthering its academic and athletics excellence while continuing the championship legacy of Duke Basketball."
Scheyer has been an instrumental figure on the recruiting trail in recent years, forging connections with the likes of Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson and Paolo Banchero. The 33-year-old still has time to evolve from a schematics perspective, but it's safe to say that Scheyer will have no trouble bringing in top-end talent at the start of his tenure.
While donning the blue and white, Scheyer was a beloved and productive point guard from 2006-10, leading the Blue Devils to the 2010 National Championship alongside Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler. During his four years, the Chicago native averaged 14.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest, and sits 10th all-time in scoring for the Blue Devils.
"The continuation of our culture at Duke is paramount to future success," Krzyzewski said. "That is why I am so grateful that President Vincent Price, Kevin White and Nina King determined that Jon Scheyer represents our best path forward. He is clearly ready for this opportunity and has shown it repeatedly throughout his playing career and as a coach on our staff the past eight seasons. Jon is a rising star in our profession and Duke basketball could not be in better hands in the future."
After graduating, Scheyer tried his hand at professional basketball, first joining the Miami Heat's Summer League roster and then partaking in training camp with the Los Angeles Clippers. Then in 2011, Scheyer, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Israel, signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Euroleague. A short stint with Gran Canaria, a Spanish professional team, followed, before Scheyer returned to his alma mater.
The former Illinois Mr. Basketball even has a victory as a head coach under his belt. Just this past January, Scheyer manned the sideline in Duke's 83-82 win over Boston College, as Krzyzewski was unavailable due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
Stadium's Jeff Goodman first reported Wednesday afternoon that Scheyer would be replacing Krzyzewski.
This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.
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Max Rego is a Trinity junior and sports managing editor for The Chronicle's 117th volume.