Mike Krzyzewski reflects on Duke career, UNC rivalry and retirement: 'I'm really happy'
Mike Krzyzewski has had plenty of time to reflect on his career in the nearly full season since he retired from Duke.
Krzyzewski remains active, and involved with the program and first-year coach Jon Scheyer, and elsewhere with family and professionally.
“It feels great. Actually, it’s a lot better. I’m really happy,” Krzyzewski said on the Lead By Example podcast via 247Sports. “I’m doing a lot of speaking around the country for Washington Speaker’s Bureau — we have our own radio show. I have 10 grandkids who live all close to me. In the last 2 years, we have streamed games. My grandson who graduated from Duke who played for me is now at NYU — we watched his game 2 nights ago and then my middle daughter’s two oldest sons — their high school and middle school games we streamed. I’m happy as can be. I still have my office at Duke. I have a lifetime contract at Duke. I’m doing a lot of things I did before, except I don’t have to coach or recruit, and I’m not good, I’m like great about it. I’m really happy and I’m very supportive.”
Coach K still has plenty of memories of the rivalry with North Carolina, especially after the Tar Heels won Krzyzewski’s final regular season game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Tar Heels later eliminated Duke in an exciting Final Four matchup in New Orleans.
“There isn’t a loss that’s acceptable, and that one was really not acceptable,” he said. “We’re getting ready to go into tournaments and everything is happy. Thank you for 42 years, I appreciate it, but I want to win a national championship and I’ll say thank you when the whole damn thing is over.”
As Coach K navigated the changing culture and landscape of college basketball, the age difference was a key factor, especially at the end.
“I’m 75. Last year I had two kids on my team who played and started were 18. There’s a pretty big gap, so you constantly had to change how you talk, how you communicated depending on the culture, but you never change the values that you were trying to teach,” he said. “That’s the single biggest area (adapting) where I had to adapt, but it keeps you young, too. It keeps you young.”