Nate James interested in Duke asst. coaching job
May 1, 2008
It’s been a busy “off-season” in Durham this year. In just six short months, Duke has fired Ted Roof as head coach of the football program and hired David Cutcliffe away from Tennessee. Director of Athletics Joe Alleva left the Blue Devils and accepted the same position at LSU. Now the basketball program is looking to fill the void left by Johnny Dawkins who recently departed to become Stanford’s new head coach.
There’s an old saying, “Good jobs don’t come open often, that’s why they’re good jobs.” Dawkins was an assistant for over decade on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff. That can be construed as quite a while in the coaching vernacular.
So as one coach leaves, one of the most coveted spots in college basketball is now open. It’s only natural that one of Krzyzewski’s former players would be drawn to the opening.
Nate James played at Duke from 1997-2001. He also spent some time in the NBDL after his career in Durham was over. Now James finds himself as the Blue Devils assistant strength and conditioning coach, and he, like a number of young coaches and staff members, sees Dawkins departure as an attractive opening.
“It would be a job I’m definitely hoping to get,” James said on Thursday afternoon. “I’m passionate about Duke. I’m around the program learning and preparing myself for the next step.”
From talking to James, it sounds like he’s been a coach in waiting for awhile.
“Even when I wasn’t coaching I was working on my game,” James said. “That was my profession.”
Whether or not Krzyzewsksi tabs James as one of his next assistants is still unknown. Hiring an unknown, someone not familiar with the program, doesn’t seem likely at this point in the search.
“We’ve talked to a couple of people,” Associate Director of Athletics Jon Jackson said. “It’s safe to say it’s going to be someone we have great familiarity with.”
James added that understanding Krzyzewski’s overall work ethic would help any candidate who wants the job, especially a former player.
“It’s the overall passion and enthusiasm he brings each and every day,” James said of his former coach. “If we can match his passion as players and coaches, we’d all be great.”
During and after his college days, James mentioned how much enjoyment he derived from teaching the game to others.
“I worked camps in the summer with younger kids,” James said. “I would come back in the summer and work kids out (at Duke).
All that hard work has caught the attention of some on the international scene.
“I’ve been offered jobs overseas as a coach and as a player-coach,” James said.
However, the job he really wants is just down the sideline from where he usually sits when Duke is playing.
“It’s a waiting game,” James said. “It’s like a job interview where you hope you get it. Hopefully things will work out.”
For people like James, things usually do.
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Most Recent Comments
"kind of funny how many x players duke has on the side lines coaching.... Well when you cant play NBA ball I guess you have to do something beside work at McDonalds."
it's also kind of funny how duke has about the same number of players in the nba as unc and they're doing better. also funny to see how former duke players become coaching which gives them more former players still involved with the sport than what unc can vouch for.
kind of funny how many x players duke has on the side lines coaching.... Well when you cant play NBA ball I guess you have to do something beside work at McDonalds.
I just emailed my resume.
"apparently you are mrkagain..set yourself up for that one :)"
Naw....... was just stirring the waters..... :-)
I say he should hire Sidney Lowe...No way! Not another point guard! Duke's coaching staff has enough point guards already! Again I say, get Gminski to come back!!!