Celtics Assistant Hired for Head Coaching Position: Report

Celtics Coaching Staff

Getty Head Coach Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics huddles with coaches.

The Boston Celtics may have their rotation players signed on for the 2022-23 season, but the team has now been dealt a significant blow this summer. Assistant Will Hardy, who had been hired to be one of Head Coach Ime Udoka’s assistants last summer, has been hired to be the next head coach of the Utah Jazz, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Charania later reported that Boston’s former Head of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge, along with the rest of Utah’s front office, did an extensive search to determine who would be Quin Snyder’s replacement after Snyder stepped down earlier in June. They ultimately determined that Hardy was the man for the job.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN later added that among the other finalists for the job was Celtics assistant Joe Mazzula before the Jazz decided to hire Hardy.

At 34 years old, Hardy is the NBA’s youngest active head coach. Having been one of Gregg Popovich’s assistants in San Antonio, Hardy is yet another head coach in a long line of head coaches who served under Popovich as one of his assistants, which includes Udoka, Snyder, Mike Budenholzer, James Borrego, Alvin Gentry, Willie Green, Taylor Jenkins, Mike Malone, Mike Brown, Chris Finch, Wes Unseld Jr., and Jamahl Mosley.

Hardy Had Been Considered the Frontrunner

On June 25, it had been reported by Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune that Hardy was in the lead for Utah’s open head coaching position, causing speculation that with Hardy being an assistant for Boston, and with Ainge being Boston’s former Head of Basketball Operations, that their supposed Boston connection was why Hardy was the frontrunner.

However, while Ainge had only recently stepped down as Boston’s Head of Basketball Operations, he and Hardy never crossed paths in Boston. Shortly after Ainge had stepped down to be replaced by Brad Stevens, Ime Udoka brought Hardy with him to be one of his assistants after Boston had hired Udoka as Stevens’ successor as head coach.

Utah had interviewed multiple personnel with previous or current ties to the Celtics either as a coach or as a player, including Hardy, Mazzula, Jerome Allen, Jason Terry, and Sam Cassell.

Utah Hires David Fizdale as Associate General Manager

David Fizdale, who had previously been head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks, has also been hired to be associate general manager for the Jazz and will work closely with Ainge and General Manager Justin Zanik.

Before being hired by the Jazz, Fizdale had been one of the assistant coaches for the Los Angeles Lakers since 2021 under then-coach Frank Vogel. Fizdale also has ties to former player Dwyane Wade, who is currently a minority owner of the Jazz.

Fizdale served as an assistant for the Miami Heat from 2008 to 2016, all of which were years in which Wade was on the roster. The Heat won consecutive NBA titles in that time, winning in 2012 and 2013. Fizdale also has ties with Jazz point guard Mike Conley Jr. having been his coach with the Grizzlies from 2016 to 2017.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x