Duke, Krzyzewski agree to long-term contract

Wednesday, November 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) _ Mike Krzyzewski now has a whole lot of job security to go with his three national titles at Duke.

Coach K agreed to a contract on Wednesday that will keep him with the Blue Devils through at least 2011, extending an extraordinary run that already has produced three NCAA championships, six ACC titles and 533 victories.

It covers the rest of his coaching career and beyond, taking the 54-year-old coach through the university retirement age of 65. Duke officials said the contract is open-ended and could roll over for longer.

It also gives him the title of special assistant to the president, a position Krzyzewski said he intends to hold after he retires as basketball coach.

``There's no definitive time,'' Krzyzewski said at a news conference where the contract was announced. ``I don't feel like 54. I feel I can do this for a while.''

Krzyzewski has a 533-164 record since he began coaching at Duke in 1981. He has back-to-back national titles in 1991 and 1992, and is defending the title the Blue Devils won last April.

In addition, The Associated Press preseason poll picked the Blue Devils to finish first this year even though they lost consensus national player of the year Shane Battier and fifth-year senior Nate James.

University officials and Krzyzewski would not discuss details of the deal, but the coach said he felt ``well-compensated.''

Krzyzewski said he agreed to the contract because Duke is the perfect fit for him, adding that he grew weary several years ago of being asked whether he would jump to the NBA.

``I wish they'd start asking a pro coach, 'Are you going college?''' Krzyzewski said. ``To me, I got the better job, at least for me.''

Duke athletic director Joe Alleva said the contract ``recognizes Mike's exceptional achievements both as our coach and as our ambassador of our university.

``We think he is the best coach in America and are delighted he is committing to remain at Duke until he decides to retire.''

Duke officials and Krzyzewski said the title of special assistant formalizes work he already does. For example, he and his wife, Micki, co-chaired the $32 million campaign for the McGovern-Davison Children's Health Center, which opened at Duke Medical Center last year.