After extensive research, Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy agreed to become the Jazz’s new head coach.
As the research process began, Jazz CEO Danny Ainge emphasized the importance of patience. He thought the job in Utah was in high demand, so it was a hire the organization didn’t want to get wrong.
“It’s attractive, for sure. … I think we’re in really good shape right now, so we can take our time and make sure we’re doing it right,” Ainge said a couple of weeks ago. . “There are a lot of coaches who are dying to get this job. I think we can find a good coach and someone who will be very happy to be here.”
At just 34 years old, Hardy was already widely regarded in NBA circles as one of the league’s promising young assistants. With this hire, he now becomes the ninth head coach in Jazz franchise history and the youngest active head coach in the NBA.
His NBA journey began in San Antonio in 2010 as a video trainee under legendary Gregg Popovich. From 2013 to 2015, he served as Spurs’ team video coordinator before being promoted to the Popovich coaching staff, where he also coached San Antonio’s summer league teams for four consecutive years.
“I couldn’t be happier that Will had the opportunity to lead one of the best programs in the league at the Utah Jazz,” Popovich said. “His intelligence, his ability to teach and, above all, his manner, command the immediate respect of players, management and staff. He is 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.
He got his break last season when he joined the Boston Celtics as a senior assistant to head coach Ime Udoka. He helped further the development of the Celtics’ big three, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. A team that reached the NBA Finals for the first time in over a decade.
“Will has a great basketball spirit,” Udoka said. “I’ve watched his growth since our time together in San Antonio and throughout our season in Boston. He was an integral part of what we accomplished and will do great things in Utah.
Great news for the Jazz is that Hardy is no stranger to winning.
Along with being an assistant in the league, Hardy was also a member of Team USA’s basketball team at the 2020 Summer Olympics, helping the team win a gold medal against the France.
Hardy’s basketball portfolio also includes college experience, fitting into Williams College, a D-III program in Williamstown, Mass. In his four seasons with the Ephs, the team went 80-31 and entered the D-III tournament twice.
Hardy will now be responsible for leading one of the most elite teams in the NBA.