Quin Snyder says an emotional goodbye to the Jazz and leaves the future open ended
Former Jazz coach said that he isn’t sure when or where his next coaching gig will be, but is looking forward to Halloween
Quin Snyder, in his farewell address, sat next to Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith and CEO Danny Ainge on Monday, thanked them for their kind words, and then looked to the right. Off camera, in a press conference room inside Zions Bank Basketball Campus, Gail Miller sat near Snyder’s wife, Amy.
“I’d just like to thank Gail and the Miller family for giving me a chance, when there wasn’t …” Snyder paused to shake away the emotions that were making his voice shake, and then trailed off before nodding and continuing on. “I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
Eight years ago, Snyder took the post as head coach of the Jazz, and he did so as an unproven coach. It was a risk for the Millers to hire Snyder and it’s a risk that, although it did not yield the desired postseason results, was successful in all other areas.
When Snyder came to Utah to begin his tenure as head coach of the Jazz, his wife was pregnant.
“Two of my kids have lived here their whole life,” Snyder said. “This is a special place and that’s not going to change for us. It’s one of the things that makes it really difficult.”
It was not easy for Snyder to make the decision to step down as the Jazz coach and he was mulling it over for weeks before coming to a decision last Saturday night.
“It was just time,” he said. “I tried to give voice to that and it really isn’t any more complicated than that as far as trying to look into a lot of different reasons. I just felt like I got to a place where it was done.”
Since then, things have moved quickly. Snyder informed Jazz ownership and the front office of his decision and tried to get in contact with as many players on the team as he could during the last 24 hours.
Snyder had a lot of calls to make and the Jazz had a lot of ducks to line up before the team announced the news Sunday evening. As such, his conversations with the players were brief but they were positive and supportive according to Snyder.
“We desperately wanted him to stay,” Ainge said of Snyder. “At the same time, I’ve walked away from coaching and I walked away from being a general manager after 18 years in Boston, and so I trust that Quin knows more what’s best for him and his family, much more than we do.”
That echoes what fans had already heard from Jazz general manager Justin Zanik.
“Quin Snyder is one of the best coaches in the NBA,” Zanik said after the end of the Jazz’s 2022 playoff run. “There is no other partner I would rather have as a coach and as a leader of our players and as a partner in our front office than Quin Snyder.”
According to league sources, the Jazz offered Snyder a deal that would have made him one of the highest paid coaches in the NBA, but Snyder felt that staying would mean that the Jazz wouldn’t get what they needed to help the team move forward.
While the decision to walk away from a roster that he was instrumental in developing weighs heavily on Snyder, he is not leaving with a future plan in mind.
“That first year is vivid (in my mind). And those guys, we all grew together. We all grew together,” Snyder said, reflecting on his time with the Jazz. “That’s the beauty of this business that you get those opportunities and that continued over time. So I’m proud of that.”
Though recent rumors have pointed to Snyder possibly being the heir to Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, Snyder denied having given any thought to his next coaching post.
“It hasn’t been on my mind at all,” Snyder said. “I’ve just been focused on this and it’s been consuming on many levels. I don’t know what I’m going to do next year as far as coaching or anything along that line. I know I’m going to be at Halloween with my daughter, which we talked about yesterday. That was a silver lining to me stepping down.”
Though Snyder might not have his mind made up on what comes next, Ainge and Smith did express their hope that Snyder would weigh in and give his thoughts on what the Jazz should be looking for from their next head coach.
Beyond that, Snyder is going to look forward to Halloween, Christmas, Easter and all the other annual holidays that were not guaranteed to be spent at home with his family while he was coaching the Jazz.
“I’m fortunate to have a family that I really look forward to spending time with,” he said. “That’s a pretty good start.”