When you’re a 34-year-old married man of two, packing up your life and moving across the country is about as daunting as it gets.
But doing so as the new head coach of an NBA team, one hungry for a championship with many pieces in place, packing up and moving across the country doesn’t sound nearly as tricky.
As the new coach of the Utah Jazz, that’s exactly what Will Hardy did this past week. Joined by Jazz analyst Holly Rowe, Utah was able to document Hardy’s move to the stunningly beautiful snowcapped mountains of Salt Lake City — asking questions along the way to help better understand who the Jazz’s new leading man is.
When Hardy was introduced as head coach of the Utah Jazz, the initial fan reaction around the league was “Who?”
With a few veteran coaches available — namely Terry Stotts and Frank Vogel — the Jazz elected to start anew and go with a first-time leading man. While the fan reaction was curiously apprehensive, those inside the league applauded the hire.
Hardy was already widely regarded in NBA circles as one of the young up-and-coming assistants in the league. With the hire, he now becomes the ninth head coach in Jazz franchise history and the youngest active head coach in the NBA.
Hardy’s NBA journey began in San Antonio in 2010 as a video intern under the legendary Gregg Popovich. From 2013-15, he was the Spurs team video coordinator before being promoted to Popovich’s coaching staff, where he also led San Antonio’s summer league squads for four consecutive years.
“I couldn’t be happier that Will has been given the opportunity to lead one of the finest programs in the league in the Utah Jazz,” Popovich said. “His intelligence, ability to teach, and most importantly his manner, brings immediate respect from players, management, and staff. He’s a competitive young man who understands the responsibilities of the position and no one will work harder to continue the success the Jazz have enjoyed for so long.”
He got his big break last season when he joined the Boston Celtics as a lead assistant for head coach Ime Udoka. He helped continue the development of the Celtics’ big three Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart. A team that reached the NBA Finals for the first time in over a decade.
“Will has a great basketball mind,” Udoka said. “I’ve watched his growth from our time together in San Antonio and throughout our season in Boston. He was an integral part of what we accomplished and will do great things in Utah.”
On Tuesday at 11 am MT, fans will have a special opportunity to get to know Coach Hardy even better via a Zoom Webinar. Hosted by Rowe, the Sports Emmy award winner will sit down with Utah’s new head coach to ask him questions submitted by fans.To join the webinar, click HERE. To submit your questions, click HERE.