SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Ever since Quin Snyder resigned as head coach of the Utah Jazz on Sunday, Danny Ainge’s phone has been blowing up.
Ainge, the CEO of Basketball Operations for the Jazz, says there has been great interest in the job.
“Based on the first 24 hours after Quin stepped down, there is a lot of interest,” he said. “There are many, many coaches out there that would die to have this job.”
Ainge said they have already lined up several interviews, but the front office staff is still figuring out the criteria they are looking for in hiring a new coach.
“We’ve contacted some people as to who we want to interview for sure,” Ainge said. “We’re trying to figure out what net to cast. Do they have to have head coaching experience? Are they just NBA guys? Are they NBA assistants? What’s the age criteria and experience criteria?”
Some of the candidates include Jazz assistant coaches Alex Jensen and Lamar Skeeter. Boston assistants Will Hardy and Joe Mazzullo are also being interviewed, as is Milwaukee assistant Charles Lee and Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin.
Former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts will also being interviewed, while former Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is a candidate as well. Phoenix Suns assistant and Salt Lake City native Kevin Young is also being considered for the job, along with Miami Heat assistant Chris Quinn.
One of the biggest questions is will the Jazz consult any players on their thoughts. Will Donovan Mitchell or Rudy Gobert have a say in the new coach? Ainge said he will talk to the players if they are familiar with a particular coach.
“I’ve always believed in player involvement,” he said. I was always appreciative when [former Celtics owner] Red Auerbach would ask me a question about things going on with our team. I’d really like to know what they have to say. If there’s been a particular player that has an association of some sort with a specific coach, I’d absolutely would be mistaken if I’m not going to spend time with that player. I believe players are partners in this thing too.”
This coaching search is unique in that the Jazz have had one of the best records in the league the past few years. This isn’t a team that has been struggling.
“It’s not dysfunctional,” Ainge said about the Jazz organization. “That’s why we wanted Quin to stay. Nobody was trying to get Quin out of there. He just felt like it was his time. But I think we’ll be able to find a good coach and somebody that will be very excited about being here.”