Pete Gaudet, the assistant coach who stepped in when Mike Krzyzewski bowed out last season, suffered stoically as the Blue Devils lost 15 of 19 games during his tenure, and Gaudet lost nearly as many pounds. This year he would be welcome back on the Duke bench, where he had served since 1983, but last May he resigned from the basketball staff to take a full-time teaching post in the school's phys-ed department. "I don't know if I really have reflected on it," says Gaudet of the miserable 1994-95 season, "or that I really want to."
Small wonder: Last season Gaudet and two assistants had to do the work normally borne by four coaches. The Final Four stalwarts of the previous season, Grant Hill and Antonio Lang, had graduated; guard Chris Collins was injured; frontcourt prospect Joey Beard transferred; and backup center Greg Newton was suspended for cheating on an exam. Excruciating losses at home—to Wake Forest at the buzzer and to North Carolina in double overtime—seemed to rob Duke of yet another body: the student body, the Blue Devils' sixth man at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Before the game against North Carolina a sign went up in what had been called Krzyzewskiville, where the students camp out as they wait for the doors to open. It read GAUDETVILLE, and it fell down.
This season, as Gaudet works out of a modest office in Card Gym, across an alleyway from Cameron, he'll at least have relief from penury. For the past three years he filled the restricted-earnings position on the Blue Devil staff, which by NCAA rules couldn't pay more than $16,000 a year. Now, on a faculty member's salary, he's free to pursue other sources of income that had been barred to him as a coach, including work at his former boss's basketball camp. Last summer the Italian Basketball Federation invited him to direct its annual clinic. "In four days I made more money than the NCAA allowed me to make in two months," says Gaudet. Duke also successfully appealed to the NCAA for permission to pay Gaudet retroactively for being the head coach much of last season.
So making ends meet will be easier. But how much Gaudet will miss the action during games remains to be seen. For now, however, he's content. "I started out as a teacher," he says. "I spent nine years coaching in high school. Nothing is a comedown from my standpoint."