Former Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has found himself leading a head coaching search in his first offseason as CEO of the Utah Jazz. While he certainly didn’t want to be in this position, Ainge has quickly compiled a list of names to start his search, including a pair of assistants from his old stomping grounds.
Celtics assistant coaches Joe Mazzulla and Will Hardy were given permission to interview for the Jazz’s recently vacated head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
“ESPN Sources: The Jazz received permission to interview several assistant coaches for head job, including Johnnie Bryant (Knicks), Will Hardy (Celtics), Charles Lee (Bucks), and Joe Mazzulla (Celtics). Jazz assistant Alex Jensen and Terry Stotts will interview too,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
Hardy, who worked alongside Ime Udoka for Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, was previously reported to be among Utah’s candidates. Mazzulla, however, is a new name added to the list, which makes sense given his history with Ainge. The former West Virginia point guard joined the Celtics as a G-League assistant in 2016-17 before returning to the organization as one of Brad Stevens’ assistants in 2019. He was retained by Boston prior to the 2021-22 season by Ime Udoka.