Local Duke fans react to Coach K’s retirement announcement

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The world of college basketball received some big news on Wednesday with Duke University Coach Mike Krzyzewski announcing his retirement.

Krzyzewski, known by many as Coach K, is the winningest coach in the history of Division I men’s basketball. After a 46 year career, the 2021-2022 season will be his last. Now Duke fans in the Cape Fear are reacting.

“I was shocked!” said Wilmington resident JP Terry. “I mean everybody knew it was coming eventually, but you know, I was shocked just like everybody.”

Terry says he might be one of the biggest Duke fans in the Port City, following the team since childhood. He sometimes calls into the local ESPN radio station to talk Duke basketball.

“There’s a lot of them, but I would put myself up there,” Terry said.

Terry says Krzyzewski has been the coach at Duke his entire life.

“I love him, I love him,” he said. “He started coaching in 1980, the year I was born.”

Leland resident and longtime Duke fan Paul Griffith has had a similar experience.

“He’s been our coach for 42 years,” Griffith said. “I know I’m not old enough to live all them years, but I’ve seen a lot of national championships, seen him win a lot of gold medals, greatest championship in 2015, and he’s one hell of a coach.”

Both men say they’re grateful they’ll have one more season with Coach K at the helm.

“I’m glad Coach K did this, I’m glad he gave everybody a year to enjoy one more season,” Terry said. “Try to get tickets and go see a game if you can with your kids like I did.”

Both also say they’re hopeful for the future of the organization.

“It’s going to be a new beginning, it’s going to take time to rebuild, but I believe that John is going to lead us in the right direction,” Griffith said. “I believe that Duke is going to regroup, get another coach under Krzyzewski that’s going to lead us in the right direction if it’s not Scheyer.”

Former Duke player and associate head coach Jon Scheyer is set to take over as Krzyzewski’s successor for the 2022-23 season.

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