Duke associate head coach Jon Scheyer has been named the Blue Devils’ head coach in waiting, and will take over for Mike Krzyzewski following the 2021-22 season.
Scheyer, who was elevated to associate head coach after the 2017-18 season, has been a member of Krzyzewski’s staff since 2013-14 when he broke in as a special assistant.
The 33-year-old had his first audition as head coach of the Blue Devils on Jan. 6 against Boston College when Krzyzewski was forced to quarantine due to COVID-19 contact tracing rules.
Scheyer and the Blue Devils won the game, 83-82. While the game was much closer than most would have anticipated, Scheyer handled the late game pressure with noticeable poise. Following the game, Scheyer was impressive in his post-game press conference and acknowledged the significance of the moment.
“I’d be lying if I said this did not mean a lot to me,” Scheyer said at the time. “Naturally, you want to step up and have Coach’s back as a staff. I’ve always wanted to win … To start off this way and get a win … it’s easier to call Coach after the game. I may not sleep tonight now. But just to move on and go from here. It meant a lot and I’m very proud.”
Little did Scheyer know, that “move on and go from here” ultimately meant landing one of the most coveted jobs in sports five months later.
Scheyer has been credited for being the lead recruiter for some of Duke’s most prominent prospects over the last several years, including the likes of Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, Vernon Carey and most recently Paolo Banchero. Last season, he was also a major contributor to Matthew Hurt’s midseason explosion when he worked with the Blue Devils’ sharpshooter to improve his shot and climb out of a brief slump.
He is also noted for playing a major role in the development of NBA players Tyus and Tre Jones, Luke Kennard, Frank Jackson, Grayson Allen and RJ Barrett.
In addition to Scheyer’s behind the scenes work, and recruiting prowess, his on-court coaching abilities have been praised by Krzyzewski for quite some time. Now, his ability to lead a program will be put to the ultimate test.
Scheyer’s promotion to head coach will leave a vacancy on the bench, one that will prove be very important to his future success as the Blue Devils’ leader. Duke’s staff will be extremely young with Nolan Smith and Chris Carrawell holding down two of the assistant spots at the moment.
How Scheyer chooses to replace himself in the staff will be a crucial decision. Experience at a high level will be important, as will the presence of someone familiar with the program.
As a player, Scheyer was a two-time captain, a consensus second-team All-American ad first-team All-ACC selection as a senior, ACC Tournament MVP as a junior and national champion as a senior.
Scheyer currently ranks 10th on Duke’s all-time scoring list with 2,077 career points, third in free throws made (608), fourth in free throw percentage (.861), and fourth in three-point field goals made (297).