The Utah Jazz have hired Quin Snyder as their new head coach.
Utah confirmed the deal via its Twitter account on Friday:
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski originally reported that Snyder and Utah agreed to a three-year deal, with a team option for a fourth:
Utah is finalizing an agreement to make Atlanta assistant Quin Snyder its head coach, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 6, 2014
The deal will include three guaranteed years, plus a team option, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 6, 2014
Wojnarowski notes when Snyder will be introduced:
Quin Snyder's introductory news conference as Utah Jazz coach is set for Saturday, source says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 6, 2014
Snyder commented on the position in a release on the team website:
“The opportunity to join the Utah Jazz and to be part of such a highly respected franchise with an incredibly bright future is a great honor,” Snyder said. “I approach this opportunity with gratitude and humility and am committed to doing everything I can to help the Jazz become a championship-caliber team.”
Mike Budenholzer, Snyder's former boss in Atlanta also commented on Utah's hire via a statement released on the Hawks' Twitter account:
"We are extremely happy for Quin and his family. He played an instrumental role within our coaching staff and team." - Coach Bud (1/2)— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 7, 2014
"This is a great opportunity for him and we wish him the best." - Coach Bud (2/2)— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 7, 2014
Snyder just finished up his first season as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks. He's best known for coaching the Missouri Tigers from 1999-2006. He left the Tigers amid scandal but has since reformed his reputation in the years since.
After his departure from Missouri, he's taken a circuitous route through various levels of the basketball landscape with roles in both the United States and Russia, per basketball writer Jared Dubin:
Snyder took the long route to an NBA head coaching job. After Mizzou scandal, he worked in D-League, player development, Russia, and as asst— Jared Dubin (@JADubin5) June 6, 2014
Now that Snyder is reportedly on board, the Jazz are already trying to fill out the rest of his coaching staff.
Jody Genessy of Deseret News reported that Utah assistant coaches Brad Jones and Alex Jensen would be taking over increased roles on the sideline:
Confirming Jazz will hire Quin Snyder as head coach. Team is expected to hire Brad Jones as an assistant and promote Alex Jensen to bench.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) June 6, 2014
Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune confirmed that Jones will be a part of Snyder's staff:
Source also confirms to tribune that brad jones will be on Quin snyder's staff— Tony Jones (@Tjonessltrib) June 6, 2014
The Jazz are in a complete rebuild, so it makes sense that they would take a gamble on a younger coach who doesn't have any head coaching experience in the NBA.
Former NBA head coach and current ESPN analyst Doug Collins gave a ringing endorsement of Snyder a few years ago, per Zillgitt:
Doug Collins is a huge supporter of Quin Snyder. "One of the best basketball minds I've ever been around," Collins told me a few years ago.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) June 6, 2014
Utah is coming off a 25-57 regular season, which was the worst record in the Western Conference. However, the Jazz are putting together a young core of stars, and with the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft, they have an opportunity to provide Snyder with another promising prospect to propel the franchise forward.
Although the West is loaded, the Phoenix Suns proved that a young team and a rookie head coach can make a serious push for the playoffs. They went from worst in the conference in 2012-13 to missing out on the postseason by one game this past year.
The playoffs are likely a bridge too far for Utah, but there's no reason to think that the Jazz can't at least take a massive step forward in the 2014-15 regular season.