SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – At his farewell press conference, Quin Snyder didn’t really expand on why he decided to step down as head coach of the Utah Jazz after eight seasons at the helm. He just said he felt it was the right time.
“It was just time,” Snyder said. “It isn’t any more complicated than that as far as trying to look into a lot of different reasons and things like that. It just felt like it got to a place where it was time. Time for the Jazz to move forward, time for me to move forward.”
Snyder said he spent the last few weeks contemplating his future, and reached a final decision on Saturday.
“It’s something I labored over,” he said. “You never have complete clarity with something like this. After thinking about it for a significant period of time, I just felt like it was time.”
Jazz CEO Danny Ainge made it clear that this was Snyder’s decision, and that the Jazz wanted him back.
“I think it’s pretty clear that we desperately wanted him to stay,” Ainge said. “So I trust that Quin knows more what’s best for him and his family much more than we do.”
Snyder leaves as the second winningest coach in franchise history with 372 victories, trailing only Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan. Snyder inherited a team that had won just 25 games the year before, and took them to six straight playoff appearances. But he was never able to get past the second round, and Snyder felt the Jazz needed a new voice.
“There’s a real sense of loss and some sorrow and sadness,” Snyder said about leaving the organization. “I think that’s to be expected given everything that took place here.”
“I’ll tell you he’s left this organization a heck of a lot better than he found it,” said Jazz owner Ryan Smith. “But more than that, he’s built a foundation that we can go build from.”
As for his immediate future, Snyder says he hasn’t given it much thought yet. There is only one coaching vacancy right now, the Charlotte Hornets. But since Snyder is under contract, the Jazz have the right to block him from coaching next season.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do next year as far as coaching next year,” Snyder said. “I know I’m going to be at Halloween with my daughter. We were talking about that yesterday. So there’s a silver lining of me stepping down.”
So now the search for a replacement begins. Jazz assistant Alex Jensen, former Jazz assistant and current Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant, along with former Blazers head coach Terry Stotts are reported to be among several candidates. But there is no timetable to make a decision.
“We want to get this choice right,” Ainge said. “We’ve got big shoes to fill. I’ve been through coaching searches a couple times before. So I have my ideas, but we really haven’t discussed it internally. I’d like to spend some time with Quin and get his ideas even.”
Wherever he ends up, Snyder expressed nothing but gratitude to the Jazz organization for giving him his first NBA head coaching job.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for my time here,” he said. “There are so many people that are responsible for that.”