The Utah Jazz have found their next head coach.
On Tuesday afternoon, The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported that the Jazz are “closing in” on a deal to hire Boston Celtics assistant coach Will Hardy.
The Deseret News has confirmed the deal, according to team sources.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Jazz and Hardy are finalizing a five-year contract.
Wojnarowski also reported that the 34-year-old Hardy will be the youngest coach in the NBA.
Hardy’s youth notwithstanding, he already has an extensive resume. After playing for Williams College, a Division III school in Massachusetts, he began his career in the NBA as an intern with the San Antonio Spurs in 2010 and eventually rose to become head coach Gregg Popovich’s top assistant coach.
Last summer, he was hired by the Boston Celtics when they hired Ime Udoka as their head coach. (Hardy was not hired in Boston by new Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, who had already left the Celtics last summer after 18 years.)
Hardy was also on the coaching staff of Team USA at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2021.
The hire concludes an extensive search process by the Jazz involving roughly 15 candidates that began when Quin Snyder resigned on June 5 after eight seasons with the franchise.
Wojnarowski reported that Jazz assistant Alex Jensen, Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin and Hardy’s now-former fellow Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla were the other finalists for the job.
Shortly after reports of Hardy’s impending hire arose, Wojnarowski added that the Jazz are hiring former NBA head coach David Fizdale as “associate” general manager, which the Deseret News has also confirmed.
SNYtv’s Ian Begley had reported last weekend that Fizdale, a longtime assistant coach who had stints as head coach with the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks, was interviewing for a position in the Jazz’s front office.