Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski provided the public with an update on his health condition after he experienced issues that prevented him from coaching the second half of the Blue Devils’ 76–74 victory over Wake Forest on Tuesday.
Speaking on ESPNU radio with Sean Farnham, Krzyzewski said he was feeling “better.”
“We went through a very taxing part of our season with four games in eight days, late travel,” Krzyzewski said. “I still prepare the same way. That day, for Wake, I wasn’t feeling that good. But during the game, during the first half, I got lightheaded on the bench. I called [assistant coaches] Jon Scheyer and Chris Carrawell over and said, ‘I’m not feeling great; you guys do more. Don’t hold back.’ Then I started feeling a little bit better during the half, and then as I’m walking off the court at halftime, it was the first time I had stood up. I really thought I could pass out.”
He added that he received IV treatment after returning to the locker room. While he did not coach the second half of the eventual victory, he did also share that he was feeling well enough to speak with the team after the game.
On Tuesday, associate coach Jon Scheyer, who will replace Krzyzewski as the program’s coach next season, did say that “Coach is doing better. He needs some rest, but not going to comment more on that.”
Now in his 42nd season, Krzyzewski has amassed perhaps the greatest résumé in college basketball history. Throughout his tenure he has won five national championships, made 12 Final Fours and has nearly 1,200 wins, the most in Division I history. Still, as Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg noted, he has maintained a close relationship with his players, no matter the success level they achieved while playing for him.
“They could be No. 1 in the country,” San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Chip Engelland told SI. (Engelland was a Duke forward during Krzyzewski’s first three years at the school, when the Blue Devils finished twice with losing records and never made the NCAA tournament.) “And if you wrote him a thank-you note, whether it was for tickets or just you know, Hey, Coach, just want to let you know, I’m playing here, and thanks, he would write you back. It was incredible.”
Krzyzewski turned 75 last week and joked on ESPNU radio that the health scare was “my way of celebrating my 75th birthday and saying, ‘Knucklehead, you are 75 and you better do something a little bit different.’”
The No. 9 Blue Devils, however, will look to continue their recent success Saturday when they host Florida State. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. ET.
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