UTAH JAZZ

Utah Jazz Officially Introduce Will Hardy As Head Coach

Jul 5, 2022, 9:50 AM | Updated: Jul 22, 2022, 3:04 pm

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Utah Jazz hold introductory press conference for head coach Will Hardy (Photo by Ben Anderson/KSLSports.com)

(Photo by Ben Anderson/KSLSports.com)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz officially introduced Will Hardy as the next head coach of the Beehive State’s NBA franchise.

Hardy was introduced at Vivint Arena on Tuesday, July 5.

The new head coach was introduced alongside Jazz owner Ryan Smith and CEO Danny Ainge.

“It’s an amazing opportunity and not one that I take lightly,” Hardy began his comments. “I look forward to our partnership.”

“It was a resounding success that we found Will through this process,” Ainge said of Hardy.

Hardy told KSLSports.com’s Ben Anderson that his first step is to build relationships with Jazz players and the team’s staff. He emphasized moving out to Utah quickly to jumpstart that process.

The new coach was asked about how he intends to build his coaching staff and what that process looks like. “There’s a lot of great coaches around the NBA and a bunch of those coaches are already here,” Hardy said.

Hardy said that he’s already spoken with a bunch of players on the Jazz roster and brought up his prior relationship with the team’s star player. “I’ve spoken to a lot of guys who are on the roster currently,” Hardy said. He mentioned Donovan Mitchell and working with the Jazz guard during the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

At 34 years old, Hardy is the youngest head coach in the NBA. He was asked about his age during the presser and what advantages/challenges it would bring to the job. “I am 34, and I am fine with that,” Hardy responded.

Utah Jazz hire Will Hardy

The Jazz first announced Hardy’s hiring on June 29.

The announcement came 24 days after Quin Snyder resigned his position as the Jazz head coach after eight seasons with the team. Snyder went 372-264 during his time with the Jazz and led the team to three Western Conference Semifinals appearances.

The Jazz coaching search commenced immediately following Snyder’s resignation and Hardy was one of the first candidates mentioned for the opening.

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 is one of the brightest young leaders in the NBA,” Jazz CEO Danny Ainge said in a statement. “He understands the importance of setting a vision and creating a culture for players. He places great value on communication, player development and creating the most productive environment for players to succeed. His experience on coaching staffs that have made the NBA Finals and with USA Basketball are invaluable and have helped prepare him for this moment. We couldn’t be more excited for Will to lead the Jazz moving forward.”

The terms of the deal were not released by the Jazz, though ESPN reported that Hardy had signed a five-year deal with the team.

“The Utah Jazz are one of the most respected and successful franchises in the NBA and the fan base here is legendary,” Hardy said in a release. “This opportunity comes with tremendous responsibility. I’m grateful for the trust the Jazz have placed in me and I look forward to the work ahead.”

The new Jazzman 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.

From the Spurs video room, Hardy was promoted to Gregg Popovich’s bench. After overseeing the team’s summer league rosters, Hardy followed former Spurs assistant Ime Udoka to the Boston Celtics in the summer of 2021 as the team’s lead assistant.

He was a standout player at Williams College between 2006-10, leading the Ephs to a 30-2 record as a senior, and the Division-III title game. Hardy and his wife Spencer have two daughters.

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Utah Jazz Officially Introduce Will Hardy As Head Coach