January 25, 2022; Boston, MA, USA; The Boston Celtics logo is seen on the court before the game between the Boston Celtics and the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
One of the Celtics’ best assistant coaches of the 2021-22 season is heading west. Will Hardywho only spent one season in Boston as a member of Ime Udoka’s original team, is set to become the next Utah Jazz head coach, as reported by the two Shams Charania of The Athletic and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Jazz CEO and former Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge played a big role in the hire, according to Charania. “Jazz CEO Danny Ainge and his front office went through an extensive coaching search process that included former head coaches, top assistants, G League coaches and former players,” he said. tweeted Charania. “Will Hardy – Ime Udoka’s top staff assistant in Boston – has established himself as the favorite.” (Ainge did not hire Hardy in Boston, Hardy was brought in by Udoka and Brad Stevens after Ainge left last season.)
Hardy has already been flagged as a top contender for the job, as has fellow Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla. The Jazz have been looking for a head coach since Quin Snyder stepped down on June 5 after eight seasons with the team.
Hardy, 34, began his NBA coaching career with the San Antonio Spurs as a video assistant before becoming the team’s video coordinator from 2013 to 2015. He also coached the Spurs in the Summer League of 2015 to 2018. Last summer, he left San Antonio to join Udoka – with whom he worked under Gregg Popovich – in Boston. His new hire is coming one year to the day that this hiring has been announced.
As Hardy heads to Utah, the Celtics still have five assistant coaches on staff. They are Damon Stoudamire, Ben Sullivan, Joe Mazzulla, Aaron Miles and Tony Dobbins.