Report: Coach K to lead USA basketball

Updated: October 12, 2005, 9:18 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Duke's Mike Krzyzewski was picked to coach the U.S. basketball team for the 2006 world championships and 2008 Beijing Olympics, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Hall of Famer was chosen during a USA Basketball conference call last week, said the person, who did not wish to be identified because the announcement has not been made. Official word was supposed to come Oct. 29.

The American men are trying regroup after finishing sixth at the 2002 world championships in Indianapolis and third at the 2004 Olympics. The team at the Athens Games was without several top NBA players and was coached by Larry Brown.

Those teams were the first not to win gold medals in World Championship or Olympic competition since play was opened to professionals.

The U.S. Olympic Committee had no comment Wednesday. USA Basketball media relations director Craig Miller wouldn't confirm or deny the report but said he wasn't told to have an announcement pending anytime soon.

The USA Basketball executive committee holds its annual meeting Nov. 9-10 in Colorado Springs, Colo., where members are expected to go over budget and other issues, including possibly confirming the choice for the next head coach.

Sources told ESPN.com that the next staff of the World Championship team would be split with two NCAA and two NBA coaches.

Krzyzewski, who led Duke to three national championships, would be become the first college coach to run a U.S. men's basketball team at the worlds or Olympics since NBA players began playing in such competition in 1992.

Krzyzewski was an assistant on the U.S. Dream Team at the 1992 Barcelona Games that was coached by Chuck Daly.

The appointment was first reported by USA Today.

Duke spokesman Jon Jackson told the AP the school would not comment on the report. He said Krzyzewski is out of town and unavailable for comment until Friday, when the team holds is preseason media day.

The USA Basketball selection committee is led by Jerry Colangelo, chief executive officer of the Phoenix Suns.

Krzyzewski will coach a team of NBA players possibly mixed with college talent -- players Colangelo has said he expects to make a commitment to the World Championships in Japan and Olympics in Beijing.

The U.S. will play in 2007 if it doesn't win the 2006 World Championships and qualify for the Olympics. So, this could be a three-summer coaching and playing commitment for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Training camp for the 2006 World Championships in Japan would begin the last week of July, likely on the West Coast.

Information from senior writer Andy Katz was used in this report.

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