After Quin Snyder stepped down as head coach of the Utah Jazz on June 5, 2022, the team has been on the lookout for his replacement. Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune reported that of the candidates that they’ve interviewed thus far, it appears that Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy is in the lead to take their head coaching gig.
Despite former Celtics’ Head of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge currently working for the Jazz, he and Hardy have no Boston connection to one another. Hardy was an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs before Ime Udoka brought him along as one of his assistants shortly after the Celtics hired Udoka as their next head coach to replace Brad Stevens, who was promoted as Head of Basketball Operations to replace Ainge. To paraphrase, Ainge was gone by the time Hardy was hired by Boston as an assistant.
Hardy is not the only Celtics assistant to have been contacted by the Jazz. On June 8, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Jazz had received permission to interview both Hardy and Joe Mazzula among their list of coaching candidates.
Former Celtics Assistants Have Also Interviewed With Utah
The Jazz have interviewed coaches who have current or previous ties to the Celtics. On June 10, Wojnarowski reported that the Jazz received permission to interview Jerome Allen.
Allen joined Stevens’ coaching staff in 2015 and was with the team until 2021 when he left to be an assistant for Dwane Casey with the Detroit Pistons. Allen is not the only former Celtics assistant to be contacted by the Jazz.
On June 8, Wojnarowski reported that the Jazz were expected to interview Frank Vogel, who was an assistant coach with the Celtics from 2001 to 2004.
Vogel is known more for his head coaching success with the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers. Vogel helped lead the Lakers to their 17th championship as a franchise in 2020, but was fired by the Lakers after they failed to make the playoffs earlier in 2022.
Former Celtics Players Have Interviewed With Utah
The Jazz have also been in touch with former Celtics who have taken up coaching since the end of their playing days.
On June 10, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Jazz had received permission to interview Jason Terry, who currently coaches the Grand Rapids Gold, the G League affiliate of the Denver Nuggets.
Terry played for the Celtics in the 2012-13 season, where he averaged 10.1 points, two rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Terry was traded to the Brooklyn Nets the following summer along with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for first-round picks and pick swaps that would later turn into Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Charania then reported on June 15 that the Jazz were interviewing Sam Cassell, who is currently an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Cassell was brought in by the Celtics as a free agent mid-season in 2008. After winning a championship with the Celtics that season, Cassell was re-signed by the team the following summer. He didn’t play a game for them before being traded to the Sacramento Kings, where he then retired after the Kings waived him.
They Jazz have interviewed many candidates, but it appears as though they have interviewed several coaches with ties to Boston.
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