January 27, 2022


Santa Maria History

Coach K calls Duke student reporter and apologizes after tense exchange in press conference


The student reporter who received a rigid response from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski after a seemingly innocuous question following the Blue Devils’ loss to Louisville on Saturday, got another surprise from Coach K. Jake Piazza, a reporter for the Duke Chronicle, said Krzyzewski called him to apologize after their tense exchange subsequently went viral.

Piazza, wrote about the incident Monday for the Chronicle. Piazza said their interaction was brief, but “the sincerity in his apology was genuine.”

Krzyzewski was asked by Piazza “what the next step forward here is” for Duke after it fell 70-65 to Louisville on Saturday. He responded by dancing around the question then going on the offensive, asking the student what his major was then talking down to him for not showing “empathy.”

Piazza and Shane Smith, Duke students on the men’s basketball beat, drove nine hours to cover the Louisville game in person for the Chronicle. Despite the third straight loss by the Blue Devils, he said it was a “fun game to cover, as all the ones that come down to the wire are,” but added that the exchange with Krzyzewski — which was his first-ever postgame press conference question for the Hall of Famer — “was not exactly” how he expected it would go.”

“Coach K’s response was far from ideal, but after the press conference I went about writing my postgame article like any other game I’ve covered, albeit slightly embarrassed after being roasted in a room full of my fellow reporters,” he wrote. “When I did find out [the exchange was going viral], I didn’t know what I should do. But thankfully, I remembered what I just told Krzyzewski—I’m an economics major. And this is just a good old-fashioned opportunity cost problem.”