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John Calipari releases statement on Coach K’s retirement

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Cal and K will get to face off in this year’s Champions Classic.

State Farm Champions Classic - Kentucky v Duke Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

The basketball world had a bombshell dropped on it today, as Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced he would retire following the 2021-22 college hoops season.

Ironically, Kentucky and Duke will face off in the 2021 Champions Classic to kick off the new season, as both schools have had several memorable battles over the last 30 years with Coach K at the helm.

Now, Kentucky head coach John Calipari has released a statement on Coach K’s decision to call it a career.

“To think that November may be the last time I ever coach against Mike Krzyzewski is hard to believe,” said Calipari in a press release. “For as long as I can remember, Coach K has been synonymous not only with Duke but with college basketball. His benchmark of excellence for nearly 50 years has pushed all of us.

“Personally, he has challenged me as a coach and a recruiter. We have competed against one another because that’s what we do as coaches, but the respect I have for Mike and all that he has done for our game and coaches goes so far beyond the battles we have had on the court over the years. Our game is not what it is today without a lifetime of dedication and love Mike has put into it.

“I want to thank Mike for all that he has done for me personally and congratulate he and his wife, Mickie, on an unbelievable career. The bar he has set will go unmatched.”

Beat Duke.