Spurs coach/president Gregg Popovich will succeed Mike Krzyzewski as head coach of Team USA, as USA Basketball announced via press release. He’ll retain his Spurs duties but expand his role with the national team once Krzyzewski steps down following the 2016 Olympics. Popovich served Team USA in the past as an assistant coach from 2002-04.
“I’m extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to represent our country as the coach of the USA National Team,” Popovich said in the USA Basketball statement. “What the program has accomplished over the last decade under the leadership of [USA Basketball Chairman] Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski is truly impressive. I will do my utmost to maintain the high standards of success, class and character established by Jerry, Coach K and the many players who have sacrificed their time on behalf of USA Basketball.”
Popovich, 66, will serve through the 2020 Olympics, and Colangelo, 75, will remain in his job through then, too, but it’s unclear if either will stay with USA Basketball beyond that. Krzyzewski, who confirmed earlier this week that he’s stepping down next year, will remain with the program as a special adviser.
Today’s news is no surprise, as a coaching source had told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that Popovich was the No. 1 choice for the job, though the swift timing of the announcement, almost a year before the transition will take place, was unexpected. He’ll have to balance his Team USA duties with coaching as well as his front office capacity as president of Spurs basketball, though GM R.C. Buford has long taken a leading role in personnel decisions.
Do you think Popovich should be taking the Team USA job, or should he simply focus on the Spurs? Leave a comment to let us know.