Will Hardy and the Utah Jazz have agreed to a five-year deal making Hardy the team’s new head coach.
At 34, Hardy becomes the youngest head coach in the league, taking over a Jazz team that went 49-33 and clinched the Northwest Division last season before losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.
“The Utah Jazz are one of the most respected and successful franchises in the NBA and the fan base here is legendary. 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,” said Hardy.
Welcome to Utah, Coach Hardy 🖤#TakeNote pic.twitter.com/36Aqymve7r
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) June 29, 2022
The Jazz conducted an extensive search that included interviews with 15 candidates for the position.
Fellow Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla, Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, and Jazz assistant Alex Jensen were all finalists, according to ESPN sources.
Hardy started off his NBA career as the video coordinator for the San Antonio Spurs before being promoted to assistant coach under Gregg Popovich.
He spent last season under Boston coach Ime Udoka in which the Celtics made a surprising run to the NBA Finals, eventually losing to the Golden State.
Pop and others were quick to congratulate Hardy.
“I couldn’t be happier that Will has been given the opportunity to lead one of the finest programs in the league in the Utah Jazz. His intelligence, ability to teach, and most importantly his manner, brings immediate respect from players, management, and staff. He’s a competitive young man who understands the responsibilities of the position and no one will work harder to continue the success the Jazz have enjoyed for so long, ” said Popovich.
“Will has a great basketball mind,” said Udoka. “He was an integral part of what we accomplished and will do great things in Utah.”
Hardy replaces Quin Synder, who led the team for the past eight seasons.