Nate James

Former Duke standout Nate James has served on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff since returning to the program prior to the 2007-08 season.

James’ role at Duke has increased from Strength and Conditioning Coach to Special Assistant to Assistant Coach to his most recent promotion as Associate Head Coach following the 2017-18 campaign.

The Washington, D.C., native has had a hand in three of Duke’s five national championships, one as a player in 2001 and as an assistant coach in 2010 and 2015. His three NCAA titles are more than anyone in Duke history aside from Coach K.

In nine total seasons as an assistant under Coach K, James has helped the Blue Devils to a 240-58 (.810) record with five ACC Tournament championships. Duke has been a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament four times in James’ nine seasons as an assistant coach.

Duke has averaged 29.8 wins per season since James joined the staff prior to the 2007-08 campaign. The Blue Devils have also produced 26 NBA Draft picks, including 22 first-round selections and 14 lottery picks, during that time. From 2009-11, James helped lead Duke to three consecutive ACC Tournament championships, winning at least 30 games in each of those seasons.

James has shown a talent for coaching frontcourt players, as Harry Giles, Jabari Parker, Mason and Miles Plumlee, Jahlil Okafor, Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr., and Zion Williamson are all currently playing in the NBA. Giles, Parker, Mason Plumlee, Miles Plumlee, Okafor, Bagley, Carter and Williamson were all first-round picks following their time under James’ tutelage, including Williamson as the program’s fourth overall No. 1 selection. Mason Plumlee (2014), Okafor (2016) and Bagley (2019) were each named first-team NBA All-Rookie selections during their first years in the league.

In consecutive seasons, James has coached players to be named both ACC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in Bagley (2018) and Williamson (2019). Bagley became just the third player in ACC history to lead the conference in scoring (21.0), rebounding (11.1) and field goal percentage (.614), while Williamson was the consensus National Player of the Year and became the first freshman in ACC history to be named both Player of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP in the same season.

James played in 135 games, making 63 starts, for Duke from 1997-01. The two-time team captain scored 1,116 points, made 111 three-point field goals and grabbed 500 rebounds while shooting .473 from the floor for his career.