Boston Celtics

Jan 25, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; The Boston Celtics logo is seen on the parquet floor before the game between the Boston Celtics and the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

One of the Celtics top assistant coaches from the 2021-2022 season is heading west. Will Hardy, who spent just one season in Boston as a member of Ime Udoka’s initial staff, is expected to become the next head coach of the Utah Jazz as reported by both Shams Charania of The Athletic and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

According to Charania, Jazz CEO and former Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge played a big role in the hire. “Jazz CEO Danny Ainge and his front office underwent an extensive coaching search process that included former head coaches, top assistants, G League coaches and former players,” Charania tweeted. “Will Hardy — the top assistant on Ime Udoka’s Boston staff — emerged as the strong frontrunner.” (Ainge didn’t hire Hardy in Boston, Hardy was brought in by Udoka and Brad Stevens after Ainge’s departure last season.)

Hardy has previously been reported to be a leading candidate for the job, as had another Celtics assistant in Joe Mazzulla. The Jazz have been looking for a head coach since Quin Snyder stepped down on June 5 after eight seasons with the team.

The 34-yer-old Hardy began his NBA coaching career with the San Antonio Spurs as a video assistant before becoming the team’s video coordinator from 2013-2015. He also coached the Spurs in the Summer League from 2015-2018. Last summer, he left San Antonio to join Udoka – who he worked with under Gregg Popovich – in Boston. His new hiring comes a year to the day that that hire was announced.

With Hardy heading to Utah, the Celtics have five assistant coaches left on staff. They are Damon Stoudamire, Ben Sullivan, Joe Mazzulla, Aaron Miles, and Tony Dobbins.