Who is Will Hardy, the new head coach of the Utah Jazz?
Will Hardy has agreed to replace Quin Snyder as the head coach of the Utah Jazz, while David Fizdale has been hired as the franchise’s new assistant general manager.
The last vacant bench in the NBA, that of the Utah Jazz, now has an incumbent: Will Hardy will take over a position held for eight years by Quin Snyder, who turned a team in construction into a contender for the NBA championship and left with an overall record of 372 wins and 264 losses. Hardy has been chosen after a meticulous selection process in which 15 candidates were looked at. The goal is to find a way to punch through what has proved an unbreakable ceiling: in six straight seasons in the Playoffs, the Jazz haven’t reached the Western Conference Finals once.
Hardy joins Jazz after helping Celtics to NBA Finals
At only 34 years old, Hardy becomes the youngest head coach in the NBA. He will sign a five-year deal after persuading CEO Danny Ainge and general manager Justin Zanik that he’s the man for the job. Last season, he was Ime Udoka’s right-hand man at the Celtics, as the Boston reached the Finals and were only two wins away from the title. Before that, he spent five years at the San Antonio Spurs, where he was promoted from video coordinator to assistant coach under Gregg Popovich. The legendary Spurs coach also brought Hardy onto the coaching staff of the United States national team.
Fizdale joins the Utah Jazz front office
The Jazz have also made a major appointment in the front office: after 18 years as a coach, David Fizdale has been hired as assistant general manager. Last season, Fizdale was as an assistant to Frank Vogel at the Lakers, but he things didn’t turn out well in what was an annus horribilis for the Los Angeles franchise.
Now it remains to be seen what free agency moves the Jazz make after a season that ended on a low and with a bad atmosphere at the franchise, following a disappointing first-round Playoffs defeat to the Dallas Mavericks, who were missing Luka Doncic for half the series. Despite rumours over their futures, for now neither Donovan Mitchell nor Rudy Gobert have left, so all the indications are that in Salt Lake City they want to build again around their two all stars. We will have to see how events unfold in the coming days and what impact Hardy’s arrival has.