Utah Jazz: 5 candidates who could replace Quin Snyder as Jazz head coach

Utah Jazz: 5 candidates who could replace Quin Snyder as Jazz head coach

The search for a new Utah Jazz head coach is underway.

Following Sunday’s announcement that Quin Snyder would be stepping down, several reports surfaced naming candidates who may be in line to take his place. Below is an overview of the top contenders that have surfaced so far.

Johnnie Bryant

Currently an assistant coach for the New York Knicks, Bay Area native Bryant finished his collegiate career at the University of Utah before being hired as an assistant player development coach for the Jazz while Ty Corbin was the head coach. Bryant was then promoted to an assistant coaching position under Snyder.

In addition to his coaching experience or ties to Utah, Bryant worked very closely with Donovan Mitchell when he was with the Jazz. Mitchell referred to Bryant as a “brother” when Bryant took the job with the Knicks in 2020. His rapport with the Jazz organization as well as Mitchell would be the meat of the meal rather than the icing on the cake if he were seen as the Jazz head coach. position.

Alex Jensen

Jensen was on Snyder’s staff throughout Snyder’s tenure in Utah, but that’s not where his ties to the state begin and end. A native of Bountiful, he was named Utah’s Mr. Basketball in 1994 before playing four years with the Utes. Following his college career, Jensen played professionally for a number of teams in Europe and China before returning to the United States to begin his coaching career.

After serving as a collegiate coach, Jensen coached the then-D-League Canton Charge and was named NBA D-League Coach of the Year in 2013. He later joined Corbin’s staff as a ‘assistant.

Under Snyder, Jensen became critical in the development of Rudy Gobert and also became Snyder’s right-hand man, taking on head coaching duties when Snyder himself was sidelined.

Terry Stotts

Stotts was most recently the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, a position he held from 2012 to 2021. Previously, he held numerous assistant coaching positions in the league, including with the Dallas Mavericks, winners of championship in 2011, as well as with Milwaukee. Bucks, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors.

Stotts is best regarded for his offensive prowess and ability to connect on deep, personal levels with his players.

During the 2021-22 season, Stotts spent some time with Snyder, his team, and the Jazz front office in an unofficial capacity. Snyder and everyone who interacted with Stotts on his tour with the Jazz raved about his genuine nature and love of the game.

Will Hardy

It’s hard to find coaches around the NBA these days who don’t have ties to the Gregg Popovich tree in San Antonio, and Hardy, an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, is no exception.

A native of Richmond, Va., Hardy started as a basketball operations intern with the Spurs in 2010 before working his way up to assistant video coordinator, summer league coach, video coordinator and eventually assistant coach under Popovich. During his rise through the Spurs organization, Hardy worked closely with current Celtics head coach Ime Udoka.

Hardy was instrumental in helping Udoka in his freshman year coaching the Celtics and taking the team to the 2022 NBA Finals.

Adrian Griffin

After playing in the NBA from 1999 to 2008, Griffin began his coaching career with the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant and worked as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder. He is currently an assistant under Nick Nurse with the Toronto Raptors and was a vital part of the Raptors during their championship in 2019.

Additionally, Griffin coached Team USA and was part of the staff that helped win gold at the 2014 FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup. He was part of the incredibly respected coaching staff, including under the guidance of Scott Skiles, Tom Thibodeau and Billy Donovan.

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