Utah Jazz hire Quin Snyder as head coach

Published: Friday, June 6 2014 8:50 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Meet your new head coach, Utah Jazz fans: Quin Snyder.

One n in his first name. Two majors and advanced degrees from Duke University. Three Final Four appearances as a point guard with the Blue Devils. Four previous jobs in the NBA, including with the Clippers, Sixers, Lakers and Hawks.

Five on the list of Jazz coaches since the franchise moved to Utah in 1979, following in the footsteps of Tyrone Corbin, Jerry Sloan, Frank Layden and Tom Nissalke.

Six gigs in the past five years, including this new one and stops in Atlanta, Moscow, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Austin, Texas.

And the list of accolades, accomplishments, trivial tidbits, flowing hair references and, yes, questions about his past go on for this former Missouri coach, who will be formally introduced to Utah in a Saturday morning press conference.

"The opportunity to join the Utah Jazz and to be part of such a highly respected franchise with an incredibly bright future is a great honor," Snyder said via a statement released by Jazz PR. "I approach this opportunity with gratitude and humility and am committed to doing everything I can to help the Jazz become a championship-caliber team."

If that last phrase sounds familiar, it might be because Snyder had a working relationship with Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey from 2007-10 when they both worked for the San Antonio organization. "Championship-caliber team" is a phrase Lindsey has repeated often since he was hired as the Jazz general manager since leaving his assistant GM position with the Spurs two years ago.

After deciding to not renew Corbin's contract following the 25-57 rebuilding season of 2013-14, Lindsey and Jazz ownership believe Snyder is the guy who can best help get this franchise back to that level. Not only is he well known for being a bright basketball mind, but he's also been credited for developing talent and being a motivating leader.

Jazz assistant Brad Jones, longtime NBA coach Alvin Gentry and Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin were the other of four finalists of a coach search that's gone on since Corbin's dismissal six-plus weeks ago.

"Quin Snyder combines a unique skillset with several intangibles that makes him the right fit for our team and approach to basketball," Lindsey said in a statement.

"He is passionate about the game and has a 20-year track record of teaching and developing young talent. His personality, work ethic and communications skills are important traits that will benefit the Utah Jazz. We have taken a significant and exciting step forward in the evolution of this franchise."

Snyder agreed to a three-year deal with a team option for the 2017-18 season, according to Yahoo! Sports. Sportando.com, a European basketball website, first broke the news.

Jones is expected to be retained as an assistant coach on the Jazz staff, according to sources. Jones, the nephew of Jerry Sloan, spent the past two seasons as an assistant and player development director in Utah. He was a regional scout for the Jazz from 2001-07 before a successful coaching stint with the now-defunct Utah Flash through 2010.

Former University of Utah standout Alex Jensen could also be promoted from his position as player development coach to a full-time assistant on Snyder's staff, according to sources.

Jensen has been leading Utah's pre-draft workouts with Johnnie Bryant, also likely to be retained on staff, after being retained following Corbin's dismissal. It's possible other teams will try to snatch Jensen, mentored by the late Rick Majerus as an assistant at St. Louis and the 2013 D-League coach of the year, but the Centerville native is highly regarded by the Jazz organization.

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