Utah Jazz: Tyrone Corbin's contract will not be renewed

Published: Monday, April 21 2014 2:00 p.m. MDT

Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin watches as the Utah Jazz are defeated by the Detroit Pistons 114-94 in NBA basketball Monday, March 24, 2014, in Salt Lake City.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — When Tyrone Corbin was introduced as Jerry Sloan's replacement as Utah Jazz head coach during an unexpected press conference during the 2010-11 season, then-general manager Kevin O'Connor quipped that he hoped a similar event wouldn't happen for 23 years.

That was about the amount of time that passed between Sloan taking over for Frank Layden in 1988 and the Hall of Famer handed the coaching baton off to Corbin in 2011.

"Ty, if you do about the same as Jerry does, (in) 2034 we’ll have another one of these (introductory) conferences," O'Connor said. "We hope it happens again, and it will happen again, because Ty will do a terrific job."

It didn't take nearly that long.

Three years and two months after being named head coach, Corbin was informed by the Jazz organization Monday afternoon that his contract will not be renewed.

"I just want to thank Ty Corbin and his staff. It’s a very difficult decision-making process that our team undertook. There was a lot of deliberation," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said Monday afternoon following his meeting with Corbin.

"Everyone should know that Ty's a man of dignity, class and integrity. We’ll do nothing now in this press conference or moving forward that would disparage him (or) the coaches in any way. Today, we’re grateful for a period that they saw us through."

Former University of Utah head coach Jim Boylen has emerged as a preferred candidate to replace Corbin, according to sources. Boylen, who is the first assistant on Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs staff, worked closely with Lindsey when the close friends were with the Houston Rockets from 1996-2003.

While Lindsey said the Jazz hope to quickly find the ninth head coach in Utah Jazz's 40-year history, the general manager added that the process is just beginning now.

"We need to find the right person first," Lindsey said, refusing to give a specific timeline. "If we can find the right person in short order, we will work very hard to do so, but we’re going to be really thorough in this process because it’s such a monumental decision."

The decision to not bring Corbin back was finalized Monday morning, five days after the Jazz finished a rebuilding season with a 25-57 record, Lindsey said.

As for the assistants, Sidney Lowe, Michael Sanders, Brad Jones, Alex Smith and Johnnie Bryant were informed Monday that Corbin won't be brought back and that "(their) status going forward is unknown," Lindsey said. He added that it's possible they'll be reconsidered for future opportunities.

"We appreciate them and their expertise," Lindsey said. "The Millers were very generous in many ways to towards the coaching staff. ... We’re going to get through this phase and then we’ll talk about whether there is an ability for guys to stay or if we can help them elsewhere."

Corbin had been the Jazz's coach since taking over for Sloan on Feb. 10, 2011, after the Hall of Famer surprisingly resigned during his 23rd season at Utah's helm. The Jazz made the playoffs in 2012 to the surprise of some outsiders, but didn't qualify for postseason play in the three other seasons that ended on Corbin's watch.

The Jazz went 112-146 under Corbin, whose tenure included the departure of All-Star Deron Williams at the end of the tumultuous 2010-11 season, a variety of mix-and-match rosters from 2011-13 when Utah went 79-69, and an all-out rebuilding project this past season.

Lindsey refused to go into specifics about why the Jazz decided to part ways with Corbin, although Utah's 30th-ranked defense this past season certainly was a factor.

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