Celtics Rumors: Damon Stoudamire Agrees to Join Ime Udoka's Coaching Staff

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 7, 2021

Pacific head coach Damon Stoudamire looks on during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
AP Photo/Young Kwak

University of the Pacific head men's basketball coach Damon Stoudamire is reportedly leaving the program to become an assistant under new Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka.

Stadium's Jeff Goodman reported the news Wednesday. 

Stoudamire, 47, and Udoka, 43, were both born and raised in Portland, Oregon. They were briefly NBA teammates as members of the San Antonio Spurs during the 2007-08 season.

After standout high school and collegiate careers, Stoudamire was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the seventh overall pick in the 1995 draft. He won NBA Rookie of the Year honors to jump-start a 13-year playing career that also included stops with his hometown Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies.

The University of Arizona product received his first coaching opportunity as an assistant with the Grizzlies in 2009. He also spent two stints at the University of Memphis and one at his alma mater as an assistant before being hired by Pacific as a head coach for the first time in 2016.

Stoudamire guided the Tigers, a member of the West Coast Conference, to a 71-77 record in five seasons at the helm. They posted a 32-19 mark over the past two years.

The 2020 WCC Coach of the Year told John Gonzalez of The Ringer in 2018 that the experience coaching at the collegiate level provided him with a lot of important lessons:

"I knew it was going to be a lot of work — how much work I didn't know until I actually got here. College is different. It's a lot different than the pros. There's a lot of administrative work. It's a lot of getting out in the community and helping raise money. In college, I'm the owner, I'm the CEO, I'm all of that. I've got to do things as I see fit. Everything comes through me. It's made me be more accountable in a lot of areas that maybe I wasn't accustomed to."

Now he'll return to the NBA to work alongside Udoka, who's in the process of overhauling the coaching staff with former head coach Brad Stevens moving into an executive role with the C's.

Jay Larranaga, Jamie Young and Jerome Allen have left the Boston staff, while former San Antonio Spurs assistant Will Hardy has joined Udoka's group, per Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.

Udoka, a former NBA forward, is a first-time head coach after nine years as an assistant with the Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.