The Utah Jazz never make flashy decisions, and naming Quin Snyder as their next head coach follows that tradition, hoping that the 47-year old is the right man to carry on with their rebuilding process which ends up making them a consistent postseason performer once again.
Snyder was the assistant coach of the Atlanta Hawks last season and is familiar with Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey from their time together in San Antonio. Snyder signed a three year deal with an option for a fourth season. He replaced Tyrone Corbin, who went 112-146 since taking over for Jerry Sloan in 2011. He wasn’t offered a new contract after the 2013-2014 season ended, following the team’s worst season (25-57) since relocating from New Orleans.
Snyder was a point guard for Duke in the second half of the 1980’s, making three Final Four appearances before turning his attention to coaching in the early 1990’s. He worked with the Clippers under Larry Brown and then spent six years back at Durham, working under Coach K for Duke. He got his first (and only) head coaching job with Missouri, staying in Columbia until 2006.
He then went on to work with the Austin Toros of the D-League after an ugly exit from Missouri, later leading him on to be the assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011-2012. He left with Ettore Messina to Europe, becoming the Italian’s assistant at CSKA Moscow in 2012-2013. Messina, who probably won’t be getting a head coaching job in the NBA, is the favorite to be Snyder’s assistant next season.
Despite veteran coaches like Mark Jackson, George Karl and Lionel Hollins being available, the Jazz continue the trend going on in the NBA which gives precedent to talented assistant and younger head coaches while veterans and more proven names get left out. It seems to be something that won’t go away as the NBA continues to be a general manager’s league in which coaches need to learn and get by.
The Jazz under Jerry Sloan were consistently one of the best teams in the NBA, but have made the playoffs only once over the last four seasons. Sloan isn’t exactly aggressive in his search for a new team, but he remains as another very respected and successful former head coach that doesn’t have a job, and wouldn’t mind getting back into the game, but seems to be waiting for offers instead of offering himself.