Wojo, other Duke alums, think Coach K is far from retirement

Steve Wojciechowski (USATSI)
Could former Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski eventually replace Mike Krzyzewski? (USATSI)

MILWAUKEE -- As I pointed out in a column about Steve Wojciechowski that posted here Tuesday, the first-year Marquette coach hasn't spent much time talking about Duke or Mike Krzyzewski since he arrived on campus five months ago. But that didn't stop me from asking about Duke and Mike Krzyzewski when I arrived on campus one week ago. Specifically, I wanted to know how often Wojo is asked about succeeding Coach K. And I was curious if any of the so-called Duke guys now working at Marquette -- Wojciechowski, for those unaware, has fellow Blue Devils Chris Carrawell and Tyler Thornton on staff -- have any idea when Krzyzewski might actually retire.

Let's deal with the first topic first.

"I realize [the idea of replacing Krzyzewski] is out there; I'm not going to deny that I've heard that," Wojciechowski said. "But, for me, that's not in the equation. The equation for me is Marquette ... and making this place the best it can be.

"Whoever replaces [Krzyzewski]," he added, "is going to have a tall task."

In other words, yes, Wojciechowski is aware he's widely considered the favorite to someday replace his former coach and boss at Duke. But he's also smart enough to realize that replacing an icon -- "He might go down as the best to ever do it," Wojciechowski said -- might not be an ideal situation for anybody. And, either way, nobody can replace an icon until the icon retires, and there's no indication Krzyzewski will retire any time soon.

That's the prevailing theory these days.

Once upon a time, most seemed to think Krzyzewski would coach this season, next season and probably retire after the 2016 Olympics at the age of 69. That's what folks in basketball circles were whispering, at least. But now you can't find anybody who thinks Krzyzewski is anywhere close to retirement, and that's certainly the belief of Wojciechowski, Carrawell and Thornton, the last of whom played for Krzyzewski last season.

All three are convinced Krzyzewski has many more years of coaching ahead of him.

"He's gonna be around," Carrawell said. "And I don't mean just another five years or something. I mean, he's gonna be around."

Wojciechowski echoed those words.

"Coach is young and vibrant and current, so I can't see him retiring any time soon," Wojciechowski said. "I think he loves it, and his family is entrenched in the program, and they're going to be good year after year. … So I just don't see him retiring any time soon."

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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