Following an extensive search, Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy has agreed to become the new head coach of the Jazz.
When the search process began, Jazz CEO Danny Ainge stressed the importance of patience. He believed that the Utah job was a highly coveted one, so this was a hire the organization did not want to get wrong.
"It's appealing for sure. … I think we're in really good shape right now, so we can take our time and make sure we get this right," Ainge said a few weeks ago. "There are many coaches that would die to have this job. I think we'll be able to find a good coach and somebody who will be very excited about being here."
Just 34 years old, Hardy was already widely regarded in NBA circles as one of the young up-and-coming assistants in the league. With the 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 intern under the legendary Gregg Popovich. From 2013-15, he was the Spurs team video coordinator before being promoted to Popovich's coaching staff where he also led San Antonio’s summer league squads for four consecutive years.
“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,” Popovich said. “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.”
He got his big break last season when he joined the Boston Celtics as a lead assistant for head coach Ime Udoka. He helped continue the development of 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 mind,” Udoka said. “I’ve watched his growth from 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.”
Some excellent news for the Jazz is that Hardy is no stranger to winning.
In addition to being an assistant in the league, Hardy also served as a member of Team USA's basketball staff in the 2020 Summer Olympics, helping lead the team to a gold medal victory over France.
Hardy’s basketball portfolio also includes collegiate experience , suiting up for Williams College, a D-III program in Williamstown, Mass. During his four seasons with the Ephs, the team went 80-31 and made the D-III tournament twice.
Hardy will now be tasked with leading one of the most elite teams in the NBA.