Ex-Celtic Damon Stoudamire Gets Emotional In Georgia Tech Introduction

'It's been a long time coming'

Damon Stoudamire is a respected mind across the basketball world, and the former NBA guard will get his chance to prove himself in the ACC.

The former Celtics assistant made his first comments as Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men’s basketball coach in a news conference Tuesday. This is Stoudamire’s second run as a head coach with his last stint being with the Pacific Tigers from 2016-2021 prior to his tenure in Boston.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Stoudamire told reporters after tearing up, per 11Alive’s Jonathan Raymond.

The Yellow Jackets have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2021. That also was when the program won its first ACC Championship since the 1995-96 season. Georgia Tech hopes Stoudamire can lead the team to the past success it saw in the ’80s and ’90s.

Georgia Tech finished this season 15-18 with a 6-14 conference record and lost to Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2023 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament as a No. 13 seed.

“You got to expect nothing but perfection, and if that doesn’t happen — it damn sure better be close,” Stoudamire said. “To get the culture, to get the foundation, you have to be disciplined, you have to have a non-negotiable contract with yourself.”

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Celtics players praised Stoudamire when he filled in for head coach Joe Mazzulla this season, and he should garner similar praise as he hopes to make an impact at Georgia Tech.