Duke elevates former player Nolan Smith to assistant coach

ACC Basketball

Associate head coach Jon Scheyer and new assistant coach Nolan Smith (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Carolina Hurricanes

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke has promoted Nolan Smith to assistant men’s basketball coach.

The school announced the move Thursday, with Smith filling the vacancy from Nate James’ departure to become Austin Peay’s head coach. Smith was a member of the Blue Devils’ NCAA championship team and had worked on the staff since 2016.

“Nolan is a rising star,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “To get him on the court with our players on a day-to-day basis will mean so much to our program. Our players will benefit immensely from his enthusiasm to teach, but also the fact that he’s young enough, he can show them. He can still play.”

The 32-year-old Smith had previously served as director of basketball operations and player development. Smith was Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year and an Associated Press first-team All-American in 2011 before becoming a first-round NBA draft pick.

Smith has also been prominent in the Durham community in raising awareness for social justice issues.

Smith joins fellow former captains Jon Scheyer and Chris Carrawell as Duke assistant coaches. Krzyzewski’s assistants have been former Duke players since the 1998-99 season.

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