Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski, the all-time winningest coach in men’s Division I college basketball, is set to coach his final home game in North Carolina on Saturday after announcing his retirement last year.
The Duke Blue Devils are scheduled to play against their rival, the North Carolina Tar Heels, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.
“Coach K,” as he is affectionately known, has led the men’s program to five national championships in 42 seasons – in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015, according to the NCAA.
If the Tar Heels win Saturday’s game against the Devils, it would almost guarantee the team an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament after losing against the Pittsburgh Panthers last month, according to CNN affiliate WTVD.
Krzyzewski held a news conference Thursday, telling reporters he has “tried not to think about it that much but I know it will be emotional.”
“By being in one place and having a good level of success throughout, you’re able to form a lot of friendships,” he said.
Krzyzewski said he will have “nothing to do with our basketball program” after his retirement, but he and his wife will stay on as ambassadors for the university.
“It was mine for 42 years, but it’s Duke’s forever. Whatever I can do to help Duke and Duke athletics, I will do,” he said.
Krzyzewski has chosen Duke associate head coach and former Blue Devils player Jon Scheyer to become the school’s next head coach, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.
While at Duke, Krzyzewski developed some of the biggest stars in the NBA, including Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
Krzyzewski started coaching while he was in the Army, starting in 1969, according to Duke. He left the military as a captain in 1974.
From there, he was head coach at the US Military Academy Prep School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for two years before landing a graduate assistant coaching position at Indiana University, the release said. He did that for another year before returning to his alma mater, West Point, in 1975 as a head coach.
Krzyzewski took the reins as Duke head coach in 1980, according to the university.
In announcing his retirement last year, Krzyzewski said in a statement that he and his family viewed the decision as a celebration. He is also “thankful and honored” to have led two college programs – West Point and Duke – along with the United States National Team as head basketball coach, he said.
Krzyzewski was appointed head coach of Team USA in 2005. Under his reign, the team won gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
CNN’s Amir Vera and David Close contributed to this report.