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Coach K to retire from Team USA? We have the perfect replacement.

The 2012 Olympics are officially in the books, and with them, Coach K’s tenure as USA Men’s Basketball head coach.  With another four years between now and the next “Dream Team,” it might be time to start a little campaign of our own to get Coach Cal in his place.

Just this morning, USA Today wondered out loud who would be the best fit to fill that vacancy, and asked readers to vote on their pick.  The options are John Calipari, Doug Collins, Tom Izzo, Rick Pitino, Gregg Popovich, and Doc Rivers.  Yes, Rick Pitino.  No, I’m not making that up.

Doc Rivers is in the lead, but with a whopping 27 total votes as of 8:23 this morning, the current standings are not even close to conclusive.  The standings are likely to change by the time this is posted.  That said, Cal is currently behind Rivers, Collins, and Poppovich.  Nobody is behind Pitino.

There’s really no reason for us not to want Cal in that spot, provided that he wants it himself.  Coach K has shown that, when you’re able to help the team come together and win, the amount of positive attention paid to the coach and his school is enormous.  Coach K has done a great job over the summer, and the players in the league clearly respect him and value his company.  You know who’s paying attention to that?  Recruits.  High school talent Robert Hubbs recently commented to Zagsblog that he was impressed with the Duke coach’s ability to recruit while leading Team USA to a gold medal.  As great as coaching the Dominican team has been for Cal, especially when it comes to great young players like Karl Towns, Jr., imagine the impact that coaching Team USA would have on recruiting.  It’d be like a second NBA Draft, but way better, so far as Kentucky exposure goes.

Not to mention that if the NBA goes through with the threatened “23-and-under” rule for the Olympics (which Kobe says is “stupid”), there will be a lot of young NBA talent led by former Wildcats like Anthony Davis and MKG.  While the rule is a bad idea in a competitive sense, it would make Cal an even more logical option.  Better if it didn’t happen, but it’s a silver lining.

While there’s nothing wrong with Rivers, Izzo, Collins, or Poppovich, think about how great Calipari would be as Team USA coach.  He’s got that “it” factor that would help get the world’s most talented players to listen to him instead of playing five one-man games.  Plus it would be a tremendous boon for the University to have Cal at the helm of the men’s team.  And think about how much it would mean to Cal personally.  I’m just guessing, but you have to think it’d be a pretty big deal.  In fact, it might be fair to think he retired from the Dominican team just so that he would be available should Team USA come calling.

It’s very unlikely that Colangelo will be paying attention to the USA Today poll when it comes time to making a replacement selection.  However, on the off chance that he does, wouldn’t it be nice to see Cal blowing everyone out of the water?  Again, the poll is here.  We have four years to get this done, but today’s as good a time to start as any.  Coach Cal’s 2016 Team USA campaign begins now.

Oh, and Coach K, congratulations on your Team USA success.  But did Duke win?

Article written by Corey Nichols

41 Comments for Coach K to retire from Team USA? We have the perfect replacement.



  1. Num1CatFan
    9:07 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Cal is leading now, still early though



  2. SteveM
    9:07 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Coach Cal will never escape the (unfair) cheating label many in the media have put on him. As such he will never represent the USA in international competition.



  3. Will S
    9:14 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    As a diehard Duke fan, I have no problem saying that Coach Cal would be a great fit and would help Team USA win gold in 2016. But you are delusional if you think Jerry Colangelo will hire him. His image as a sleezeball, used car salesman, cheater with 2 vacated final fours isn’t going to vanish into thin air overnight. Representing Team USA takes much more than the ability to win. You have to do it the right way. Colangelo has said Coach K’s tenure with Army as a player and coach weighed heavily into his decision to hire him. Look at last weeks Poll of which Coaches Cheat the Most, and you will see how Calipari is viewed among his peers. I personally think he’d do a great job, but there’s no way in hell he’ll ever get the job.



  4. Will S
    9:15 am August 13, 2012 Permalink


  5. Wildcat4life
    9:29 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Cal is up to 50% now



  6. Jay Bilas' Swagger
    9:30 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Will S- I have asked you before but you failed to anwser me. Why do you continue to post on this site? Please enlighten us.



  7. Bynyn
    9:32 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    All of these guys are great coaches, but there is no question which coach is best suited to work with spectacular talents for a short period of time and come out on the other side with a team mentality. I mean, Pitino said he didn’t think what Cal did this year was even possible.



  8. huh, what?
    9:33 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #3 – Yeah, cause “Coach” K has never cheated (Maggety?). And let’s not kid ourselves, K ia one shady dude. I can totally see info flood out about him once he retires. When Cal gets 4 McDonalds All Americans per yer – he HAS to be cheating… BUT when K and Roy get McDonalds AA’s, its cause they are just good coaches, right?



  9. Shaffer
    9:33 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #3 thanks for your input. Coach K isn’t exactly squeaky clean (Maggette) by the way. He just will never be projected as a cheater. If u like polls there was one last summer where they asked the coaches who cheats and each coach said everyone but me. And whoever wrote this column needs to realize the next “Dream Team” will be in 2 years. We compete internationally every 2 years



  10. Brian
    9:35 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    As of 9:34 am, Coach Cal has 53%



  11. James K
    9:36 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    It’ll be Popovich, Rivers or Collins. Bank on it.



  12. MIDDAY
    9:37 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    $10 says Pitino loses to “other” on the vote count. =)



  13. bigbluemaniac
    9:41 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Cal up to 54% Pitino tied with other with 3%



  14. ltyler
    9:46 am August 13, 2012 Permalink


  15. Cats4Life
    9:49 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Cal up to 57% at 9:49 am.



  16. Al's IndiCats
    10:00 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #3, so you’re telling us that because of what Cal’s peers (anonymously of course)that because of the two vacated FFs that he wouldn’t be hired as the coach of team USA? Wouldn’t they see that this championship is sticking? Didn’t Cal TELL the NCAA that Camby had dealings with an agent while at UMass before they had any kind of inkling? Wasn’t it the NCAA that cleared Rose to play in the first place? Then you also must know that the Maggette fiasco is still on the books, but no one has the onions to bring it back up.



  17. SAN
    10:07 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #11 – I agree…my money’s on Collins. Redemption for ’72!



  18. Bunzz
    10:15 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    I still believe that Phil Jackson is the guy for the job. That would allow him to stay in retirement, but also get his basketball fix…



  19. Mr. Blonde
    10:15 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #3- As much as it pains me to agree with a Duke fan, you are right. Pitino won’t get it because of the Karen Sypher scandal. In order to be the coach of the US team you must have a squeaky clean image, both on and off the court. In my personal opinion I think that Izzo or Poppovich would be the best coaches mentioned for the job. I think the only reason that Collins is even mentioned is for sentimental reasons (’72 Olympics) and Doc Rivers job was hanging by a thread until Boston got Ray Allen and Garnett.



  20. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS
    10:15 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #3 is somewhat right. Jerry would not pick Cal but for the reasons mentioned. Collins, Rivers or Pop will be the choice. Did anyone see how many players approached Collins after the game. My money is on him.



  21. Will S
    10:22 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Wasn’t trying to ignite a firestorm. And I check this site for recruiting updates, since UK and Duke recruit alot of the same players. When an article involves Duke or Coach K, I usually comment. Like I said earlier– I think Cal would do a great job and I’d like to see him get it. Unfortunately, and wrongfully, his reputation will never allow him to actually receive the job.



  22. what the heck
    10:24 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Why on Gawd’s green earth do people keep bringing up Collins’ name? Hasn’t he been fired by more NBA teams than he’s had winning seasons?

    Here is the reality folks, Team USA could pick an average high school coach and still win the gold. “Coach” K didn’t teach any of those dudes anything they didn’t already know. They were all NBA All Stars (except Davis, who was ncaa player of the year). Most of us knuckleheads on here could coach this team. AND, they kept talking about our lack of size inside… then why didn’t “the great Coach K” give Davis (6’10.5″) a shot running with the first teamers?



  23. SouthBeachWildcat
    10:42 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #2 is correct. As much as I would love to see Cal coaching USA it will never happen. Too many haters



  24. J Jones
    10:48 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Cal crapped in his nest when he coached the dominican team. How can we let someone who would help another country coach our olympic team.



  25. lonnieb
    10:49 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    I just voted cal @ 60$% of votes



  26. UKChillfan
    10:54 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #3-#4 — If the NCAA ever does anyting to UNC, I’ll root for Duke anytime they are not playing UK. In another words, it isn’t going to happen.



  27. Big Blue B-Rad
    11:14 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    While I would love to see Calipari coach the team, too many people hate him to make that happen. While these people only look at the perception of him, they still think he’s a sleazeball and it’s hard to imagine Colangelo would bring in someone with that kind of negativity around him.



  28. theWilkman
    11:32 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Cal has 60% as of 10:30 CST



  29. Suffo-Cats
    11:36 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    As a UK fan I don’t want Cal to coach the national team. While I do think that it could help recruiting, I also believe that coaching players like Durant, Lebron, and others NBA superstars will give Cal the taste for the NBA. I want to keep him selfishly tucked away in Lexington. I know someday he’s going to make that jump back to the association, but I’d like to delay it as long as possible. Is it too crazy to start grooming Antigua or Payne to keep this dream going when our saviour leaves?



  30. GettheFactsStraight
    11:38 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    I would hope that Cal waits to see if there is going to be an age restriction placed on Team USA in the future. If so, the risk of losing and looking bad goes way up. May not want the job with one hand tied behind his back.



  31. Pu
    11:43 am August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Gotta agree with the Dookie. As much as I like Cal, I’d be very surprised if he got chosen to coach the US olympic team. And as much as I love Ant, “the great Coach K” made the correct decision in not playing him more than he did. Ant has a great chance to be a star in the NBA some day, but he has a ways to go. If you can’t see a difference between Davis and NBA veterans, then you should probably take the 3 goggles off for a minute. Davis was likely added to the team (besides injuries to about 10 other NBA payers) because it is assumed that he will be a big contributor and somewhat of a leader in 4 years in Brazil and possibly in two years in the next international tournament. I think this was the best possible scenario for Ant. He gained valuable experience playing with and, in some cases, against some of the best players in the world without having the pressure of carrying a team for his country at 19 years old. And say what you will about Coach K, but i seemed to me that every one of the players on that team genuinely liked playing for him and he seemed to genuinely like coaching those players, Ant Davis included.



  32. Better Now
    12:33 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Just voted and Cal has 61% of the votes now… The power of the BBN!



  33. barn
    12:34 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    cal is smoking everybody else in that poll. 61% with rivers 2d at 11%



  34. Bradley
    12:45 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah Nichols, Cal coaching the USA would be a huge boost to recruiting. It stinks right now.



  35. UKBlue
    2:19 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    This is a stupid idea, and Cal isn’t going to do this. Signing up to coach the USA team is a major commitment, and coaching the DR team wore him the hell out & took up too much time from recruiting.



  36. Deepsouthfan
    2:48 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    58% Cal. 11% Doc. 2:45PM



  37. recruiting
    4:00 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    How can recruiting really get any better then it is now……. good lord, we cant sign every 10 player in the country ever year, it would be nice but we have to share. I agree Phil Jackson would be the best fit



  38. RYNO
    5:24 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    31) Agree with everything you posted. Davis played about as much as possible IMO. I know it’s hard for some to grasp the difference in the competition when we’re used to see him dominating CBB, but if he had gotten a lot of time, it would have been pretty obvious. We’ll see it next year in the NBA. He’ll be fine, but I doubt he dominates the game for a couple years. He got an unbelievable break when Griffin went down so he could make the team. I’m happy for him that he got to experience such a special honor.



  39. RYNO
    5:27 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    3) LEHIGH!!!!



  40. jorts 55
    8:23 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    cal wouldnt want to do it…COACHES DONT GET MEDALS



  41. booyah
    5:41 pm August 14, 2012 Permalink

    Cal will not be the next coach, by-laws state that the next National team coach must be an active NBA coach.