Report: Jazz Close To Hiring Will Hardy As Next Head Coach

Jun 28, 2022, 1:09 PM | Updated: 5:47 pm
Will Hardy (center) at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz are close to hiring Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy as their next head coach according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Former head coach Quin Snyder resigned from his position overseeing the Jazz on June 5th leading to an extensive coaching search for the franchise.

Charania tweeted the news on Tuesday, more than three weeks after Snyder resigned.

“Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy is closing in on deal to become the next head coach of the Utah Jazz, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium,” Charania tweeted.

Hardy was reportedly hired over a group of finalists for the job that included fellow Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla, Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, and current Jazz assistant Alex Jensen, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Will Hardy Coaching Bio

Hardy was one of the first and most obvious names mentioned in the Jazz coaching search due to his long history as an assistant coach with successful franchises.

Both Wojnarowski and Charania reported that Hardy would be a candidate as one of the hottest names on the assistant coaching market, and was identified by KSL Sports as a likely candidate for the job.

Wojnarowski reported that the Jazz have officially offered Hardy a five-year contract to coach the team.

“Will Hardy and the Jazz are finalizing a five-year contract to make him the franchise’s next coach, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “Hardy, 34, will be the youngest active coach in the NBA.”

Due to recent rumors that the Jazz preferred to hire a first-time head coach, rather than a retread in either Terry Stotts or Frank Vogel, Hardy had become one of the leading candidates for the job.

Hardy, 34, began his coaching career with the San Antonio Spurs as a video assistant under the tutelage of soon-to-be Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown.

After several seasons in the Spurs video room, Hardy was promoted to Gregg Popovich’s bench as Brown, Mike Budenholzer, Ettore Messina, James Borrego, Jacque Vaughn, and Ime Udoka earned head coaching jobs elsewhere, a testament to the regard in which San Antonio assistants are held.

Hardy also served as the Spurs Summer League coach between 2015-18 and worked for Team USA during the 2019 FIBA games before following Udoka to Boston where he helped lead the Celtics to the NBA Finals in their first season together.

In 2020, Hardy was on the coaching staff for the Team USA men’s basketball roster that won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

According to The Athletic, Hardy has previously interviewed with the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, and Oklahoma City Thunder for their recent head coaching openings.

Prior To Coaching

Hardy was a standout forward at Williams College where he led the Ephs to a 30-2 record as a senior before his team fell in the 2021 Division-III national championship game to Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Curt Tong, a former coach at Williams College had been the athletic director at Pomona-Pitzer in California when Popovich was the school’s head coach. When Popovich needed a new video intern, he reached out to Tong who recommended Hardy for the open position.

Hardy attended high school at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia.

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