But after a bronze medal finish in 2004, two years after an embarrassing sixth-place performance in the worlds, Colangelo was given control of USA Basketball and hired Krzyzewski, who has been on the staff of 12 U.S. teams since 1979.
He got the Americans back on top with a thrilling victory over Spain in Beijing, then committed to return for another three-year stint the following year. The Americans’ victory in Istanbul in 2010 was their first world title since 1994, and they won even though none of the ‘08 gold medalists returned.
Krzyzewski has said he planned to remain close to Colangelo and the program even if he didn’t return. He was asked in the interview if the U.S. would have a different coach in 2016, when they try for a third straight Olympic gold medal.
“Yeah, and he’ll be great,” Krzyzewski said, “and he’ll get all the support of all of us, and of me.”