NCAA Basketball: Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski To Undergo Back Surgery; Replacement Named

By Miguel Torres, Posted: 01/03/17 03:12AM EST
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Duke Blue Devils Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Coach Mike Krzyzewski returned Saturday and helped his Duke Blue Devils defeat the Pittsburgh Panthers, 72-64. (Photo : Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Duke Blue Devils Mike Krzyzewski is expected to miss up to four weeks of action due to back surgery.

According to a report by CBS Sports, while the timetable for coach Krzyzewski's recovery has been determined and aforementioned, the number of games he will be missing has yet to be specified. The report also noted that this would be the second time the long standing Blue Devils coach will be missing several games during the season because of the same reason. The first time it happened was during the 1994-95 season, when coach Krzyzewski missed 12 games, which led the team to miss the NCAA tournament, as they held only managed a 13-18 record.

"Our medical team [has] worked tirelessly to help manage this issue for several weeks. Together, we have determined that surgery is the best course of action at this time," coach Krzyzewski said.

In his absence, the team had already handpicked the man who will be replacing him for the time being. As confirmed in another report by Jeff Eisenberg for Yahoo! Sports, associate head coach Jeff Capel will be filling in for him, for the duration of his absence. Eisenberg, however noted that Capel could easily be promoted to the head coaching position, should he be able to steer the Blue Devils to a successful run.

Capel's journey as a college basketball head coach was not a smooth one, to say the least. He did a stint as the head coach of the Oklahooma Sooners from 2006-2011, but was subsequently fired after the team incurred two consecutive 18-loss seasons. To add insult to injury, he was also placed under investigation by the NCAA for supposed questionable recruiting practices.

To his credit, however, Capel was able to revamp Duke's recruiting, and was able to help the team land blue-chip rookies, many of whom were instrumental to the 2015 team that won the national title. He was also tapped  as the automatic replacement whenever coach Krzyzewski had to attend to his duties with the USA Men's national team. 

 

 



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