Report: Utah AD Mark Harlan To Interview Jazz Assistant Alex Jensen For Head Coaching Job

Mar 22, 2021, 4:57 PM
Alex Jensen - Utah Jazz...
France's, Rudy Gobert (R) of the Utah Jazz watches a video with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen (L) before a game against the Houston Rockets at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 12, 2015. (GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)
(GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan will reportedly interview for Runnin’ Utes star and current Jazz assistant Alex Jensen.

When the news came out on Tuesday, March 16 that Larry Krystkowiak wouldn’t return as head coach, Alex Jensen was a name that immediately appeared as a strong candidate.

Stadium College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman reported the news that Harlan will interview Jensen for the head coaching position.

Goodman is also reporting that Utah has interest in former Runnin’ Utes guard and current New York Knicks associate head coach Johnnie Bryant and Utah State head coach Craig Smith. Both of those names have been listed on the head coaching big board that was published hours after the Krystkowiak news.

Jensen’s stock in the coaching profession has skyrocketed and doing it at the highest level of the sport. He is the right hand man to one of the best teams in the NBA in Quin Snyder and the Utah Jazz.

His ties to the Utah basketball program and the NBA is very strong and would attract a lot of recruits. If Jensen is willing to take the head coaching job at Utah, it would be his to lose. The problem is that Jensen could hold out for a job in the NBA as a head coach, forcing him to pass on this opportunity.

Part of Goodman’s report is that he spoke to multiple people in the NBA about Jensen and “they all raved about him and feel he would be successful as a college head coach.”

Just like Jensen, Bryant is a rising star that will get a head coaching job sooner rather than later. He started his career as a player development coach for the Utah Jazz before moving up the ranks. Now, he is the associate head coach of the New York Knicks, who are having a solid season in the NBA.

Also like Jensen, not sure what the interest level is for Johnnie Bryant to be a head coach in college or if he would rather wait until an NBA opportunity came up.

Smith is a rising star in the profession. Since becoming the head coach at South Dakota beginning in 2014, it looks like all Smith does is win. When he arrived in Logan, he quickly revived the Aggies basketball program and led the team to three straight Mountain West Tournament Championship game appearances, including two titles.

Smith has quickly adjusted to recruiting on the west coast and is bound to take a job at a higher level program sooner rather than later. He should be strongly considered for the job at Utah.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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