Coach K says Duke basketball wouldn’t be what it is without Mike Cragg. Now he’s leaving Duke.

One and done? Coach K breaks down new NCAA policy

Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski talks about new NCAA basketball policy in press conference prior to Canada trip
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Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski talks about new NCAA basketball policy in press conference prior to Canada trip

One of Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski’s closest colleagues is leaving the school after 31 years.

St. John’s announced Thursday it has hired Duke’s Mike Cragg as its new athletic director.

“We are excited to welcome Mike Cragg to St. John’s University,” St. John’s president Bobby Gempesaw said in a statement. “His vision for St. John’s Athletics coupled with his tremendous experience and commitment to excellence will undoubtedly benefit our student-athletes, as we collectively work to ensure their success on and off the field of play.”

Cragg has worked at Duke since 1987 and has been the senior administrator for Duke’s men’s basketball team since 2000.

“Mike Cragg has played an enormous role in the growth of Duke basketball over the past three decades,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “Quite simply, Duke basketball would not be where it is without Mike. He has maintained a consistent, and critically important, voice within our program. In addition to his exemplary professionalism and unparalleled vision in the workplace, he has essentially been an extended member of our immediate family over the years. While we will miss Mike immensely here at Duke, this is an absolutely amazing hire by the leadership of St. John’s and an unbelievable opportunity for Mike and his wonderful family. We are extremely proud of him.”

Cragg’s current role at Duke is as a deputy athletics director overseeing facilities for the school’s 27 sports. He’s directed the massive construction projects over the past decade that millions of dollars in improvements to Wallace Wade Stadium and Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be joining the St. John’s family at this important period of growth for the University,” Cragg said in a statement. “From the first moment my wife and I stepped on campus, we felt at home and surrounded by great people with tremendous pride in their University. That passion is contagious and we were instantly hoping for this opportunity to be on President Gempesaw’s team. Without a doubt, I look forward to representing and humbly leading one of the iconic brands in all of college athletics - St. John’s.”

This is the second month in a row Duke has lost one of its longtime administrators to another school. Gerald Harrison, who had overseen the football program since 2008, was hired by Austin Peay as its athletic director last month.

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