Local News

Duke's Dawkins to Coach at Stanford

Posted April 26, 2008 1:03 p.m. EDT
Updated April 26, 2008 10:49 p.m. EDT

— Duke associate head coach Johnny Dawkins has been named the men's basketball head coach at Stanford, as announced by Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby on Saturday. Dawkins becomes the 17th head coach in the history of the Cardinal program.

Dawkins, 44, takes over at Stanford after completing his 11th year as a member of the Duke coaching staff. For the last nine seasons (2000-08), Dawkins served as the program's associate head coach. He began his coaching career as an assistant during the 1998-99 campaign.

At Stanford, he will succeed Trent Johnson, who went to Louisiana State.

"We are thrilled to welcome Johnny and his family to Stanford," said Bowlsby. "His credentials as a player, combined with his coaching experience gained mentoring under a Hall of Fame coach at a university such as Duke, made him a perfect fit for Stanford. The philosophies of the two programs both on the court and in the classroom are very similar. I am confident Johnny's leadership skills, coaching ability and commitment to attract top-flight student-athletes will be a driving force in continuing Stanford's tradition of basketball excellence."

Dawkins scored 2,556 points at Duke and is second all-time in scoring at the school. He also has extremely close ties to Krzyzewski. Dawkins was a member of the critical class of 1986 that includes Krzyzewski's first major recruits at the school. Dawkins was the senior star of that 1986 team that lost to Louisville in the national championship. He played in the NBA nine seasons before returning to Duke as a Blue Devils assistant.

“In my 28 years at Duke, no one did more to build our program as a player, coach or a person than Johnny Dawkins. He is as responsible as anyone for the success we’ve had for more than two decades,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “Johnny is certainly ready to become a head coach at a high level, and that is exactly the opportunity he’s been presented. He will identify completely with what Stanford does, both in the classroom and on the court, and will maintain its strong basketball tradition. This is a great fit for both Stanford and Johnny."

Dawkins has been mentioned for other head coaching jobs in the past, but has been in no hurry to leave the Blue Devils. However, Stanford is a similar school to Duke and head coaching experience would likely help him as a candidate for the Duke position when Krzyzewski retires.

“I am deeply sorry to lose him as our associate head coach,” added Krzyzewski. “That said, I am very happy for Johnny, Tracy and his four children. The Dawkins family will be embraced by the Stanford community, just as they were here in Durham. They’re a wonderful family.”

Krzyzewski's two other assistants are Steve Wojciechowski and Chris Collins.

Dawkins is exceptionally close to the Duke players. Former player Nate James, the Duke assistant strength and conditioning coach, told 99.9 FM The Fan, "He's been like a second father to me."