Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is now a co-winner of the 2016 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award, recognized for USA Basketball’s third consecutive Olympic gold medal.
The USA National Team coach’s co-recipient was Geno Auriemma, who led the women’s National Team to gold in Rio this summer.
It’s the seventh time Krzyzewski has earned at least a share of this coach of the year award, as he was honored in from 2006-2010, 2012 and 2014.
“Certainly, I am honored to share the 2016 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award with Geno Auriemma, a terrific leader whose accomplishments in women’s basketball stand alone,” Krzyzewski said in a statement released Thursday. “Any award that a coach or individual receives is the product of having a great team. Starting with the leadership of Jerry Colangelo, we’ve had that in USA Basketball. Our staff was together every step of this journey, and our players were, too. It was another magical run to gold in Rio, and I was thrilled and honored to be a part of it.”
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Krzyzewski produced an 88-1 record as head coach of the men’s National Team and became the first head basketball coach to win three Olympic gold medals.
The leading scorer of the 2016 USA Olympic team, Kevin Durant, said the Hall of Fame coach motivated the players every day, holding them to a “championship-level standard.”
“We followed that blueprint from day one,” Durant said in the release. “We all believed in him, he believed in us and we were able to go out there and accomplish something special.”
Krzyzewski is the first coach in the history of international basketball to win back-to-back Olympic and FIBA World Cup championship and is currently looking to do something else special.
His Blue Devils are 7-1 and seeking his sixth NCAA title. They’ll continue the season hosting Maine on Saturday.
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan