Quin Snyder Opens About His History, Life During COVID-19
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder gave a rare candid interview about his past life, and life during COVID-19. The Jazz coach has spoken in public infrequently since the NBA was shut down on March 11. Though Snyder has spent most of his adult life in the public eye; having played basketball at Duke, before coaching across the world, the coach has kept his personal life private. In the latest “Ingles Insight” podcast, Snyder opened up about his life away from basketball.
Snyder On Life During COVID-19
Like many parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, Snyder has had his hands full with his children. However, Snyder is using the time to accomplish some of his parenting goals.
“I’ve been wanting to teach my two oldest, Anika and Wyatt how to play chess,” Snyder said. “So, when the bell rings and they have to go to the next class, suffice to say I am their favorite teacher.”
Though Snyder and his coaching staff have begun using their time away from basketball to improve the team, the hiatus didn’t start that way.
“When we got back from Oklahoma it was a time when there was so much uncertainty and anxiety I didn’t want to think about basketball,” Snyder said. “And I didn’t want anyone else to think about it either so we really laid off anything professional. ”
Life After Playing
Snyder was the point guard for Duke basketball during three trips to the NCAA Final Four. However, Snyder hung up his sneakers after going to training camp with the Indiana Pacers in 1989.
“I had always wanted to go to law school,” Snyder said. “And to be honest with you, as much as my college coach, [Mike Krzyzewski], as good of a coach as he was, I got to a point–and I think all players at certain points feel this way–at certain points, you work through it. But in my case, I had literally gotten tired of that life and I wanted a fresh start even psychologically so I decided to go to law school.”
Snyder graduated from Duke with both a law degree and a business degree before fully returning to coaching.
“That was a focus for me and a passionate one,” Snyder said of his playing career. “But when you do that its usually at the exclusion of other things. I wasn’t in a position in my mind to have a long career in the NBA. ”
Though Snyder has gone onto a long and successful coaching career, he does have one regret from his playing days.
“I felt like I could keep playing,” Snyder shared. “The one thing I regret actually on some level–whether I was going to make an NBA team or not–I had opportunities to go overseas and that was something that I always felt like I would have really enjoyed. And that was more appealing to me because it was something so different.”
Though Snyder’s competitiveness isn’t on display like it once was early in his coaching career, it still makes its way onto the floor occasionally. Snyder shared a story to highlight his competitive fire dating back to his childhood.
Snyder was a talented athlete growing up in the state of Washington. However, the coach remembered one time when he was outmatched in a footrace.
“There was a guy named Jeff Merlino and another guy named John Miller,” Snyder shared. “I had won the 100-yard dash, and this was the 50. And frankly, I was robbed, I was cheated, and thats why I reacted the way I did.”
Though the coach didn’t share how he was cheated, he did recall his reaction.
“I think they had those old ribbons,” Snyder said. “Not only was I cheated out of first, I was cheated out of second. So I literally if you can imagine, as an 11-year old I tore my ribbon up.”
While Snyder has found better ways to control his competitive urges, he’s no stranger to earning technical fouls as a coach. Sometimes, Snyder can even predict the results of his fire.
“I still have that dark side underneath the controlled veneer,” Snyder joked. “The guy who that’s gotten me kicked out the most is probably Rudy, you get to a point where Rudy feels so wronged that I get kicked out so Rudy knows I am supporting him.”