Posted July 03, 2013

Celtics hire Butler’s Brad Stevens as head coach

Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, Butler University, Danny Ainge
Brad Stevens has been named the head coach of the Boston Celtics

Brad Stevens has been named coach of the Celtics. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Celtics have hired Butler coach Brad Stevens as their next head coach.

“Our family is thrilled for the opportunity given to us by the leadership of the Boston Celtics, but it is emotional to leave a place that we have called home for the past 13 years,” Stevens said in a statement released by the Butler University. “We truly love Butler University and Indianapolis, and are very thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate so many wonderful things together. What makes Butler truly unique is the people that we have been so blessed to work with. When it comes time for our kids to look at schools, we will start with Butler University.”

Stevens, 36, has been regarded as one of the brightest young minds in college basketball after leading the Bulldogs to a 166-49 record and two trips to the Final Four in six seasons. A known proponent of advanced statistics, Stevens is now the youngest head coach in the NBA and the only coach in the league hired to his current position directly from the college ranks.

“Brad and I share a lot of the same values,” Celtics president Danny Ainge said in a statement. “Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic. His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him towards Banner 18.”

The Celtics recently agreed to let coach Doc Rivers out of the final three years and $21 million of his contract so that he could join the Clippers in a dual role as coach and front-office executive. Boston received a first-round pick as compensation. The Celtics then agreed to trade All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets for a package that included a number of draft picks. Boston is clearly headed for a youth movement rebuilding effort, but Ainge said this week that his team would not be purposefully dumping games to improve its position in advance of the loaded 2014 draft lottery.

“We are not tanking,” Ainge said, according to the Boston Globe. “That’s ridiculous. This is the Boston Celtics.”

Stevens joins a long list of first-time head coaches hired this summer: former Pacers assistant Brian Shaw is now the coach of the Nuggets, Grizzlies assistant coach Dave Joerger was promoted to head coach, former Knicks guard Jason Kidd is now the coach of the Nets, Lakers assistant Steve Clifford is now the coach of the Bobcats, Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer is now the coach of the Hawks, Jazz assistant coach Jeff Hornacek is now the coach of the Suns and Warriors assistant coach Michael Malone is now the coach of the Kings.

Back in March, Stevens decided to remain at Butler after being courted by UCLA.

Boston finished last season with a 41-40 record, earning the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics were eliminated by the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs.

21 comments
WayneWaterman
WayneWaterman

I remember when I had to get used to the idea that I was older than the players on my favorite teams. Now I guess I am at the age where I have to get used to being older than some of the coaches. Oh well.

6marK6
6marK6

GREAT HIRE! This guy is a communicator and a strategist. People questioning this hire don't know basketball.

Mark20
Mark20

Glad they got someone fresh, rather than hire another failed NBA coach like the Lakers did. Why hire someone that someone else fired? Getting fired generally means you've failed. So why hire failure?

PWINGS
PWINGS

Smart move by the Celtics if they can give Stevens players who will buy into an unselfish, team-oriented philosophy. If not, I hope Brad gets a nice payday out of this 'cause that may be the only thing he gets other than headaches and a strong sense of regret. If I were Rondo, I'd start looking over my shoulder right about now.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

No one expects the Celtics to do anything next year so this will be a great way for a novice NBA coach to start. Damn smart hire, I think. 

tyson
tyson

All of these coaches, save Kidd, have one thing in common: They'll work for cheap.

g1818miller
g1818miller

Didn't the Celts try this route before when they hire Slick Rick Pitino ? I guess with Ainge as the GM they think the outcome will be different. GOOD LUCK !


Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

After the laughing stops......LMAO. Daaaang, I can't stop.....good luck with that sinking ship Boston. YIKES!

3andD
3andD

Fantastic hire

Mike26
Mike26

@Mark20 Wow, really deep stuff Mark20. (if that's really your name!)

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@tyson Brad Stevens' salary was not mentioned.  How do you know that he is coming cheap?

eggishorn
eggishorn

@Wisconsin Death Trip With the new CBA especially, it is better to have your ship sink so you can raise and repair it than to keep it just barely afloat for years.  So Ainge has done the smart thing and scuttled the badly-leaking remnant of the champion-ship (pun fully intended).  After one, maybe two, genuinely bad years, they will be able to set sail again unencumbered by the excess topweight they had accumulated.  It is far, far better to be a lottery team than to be the eighth playoff seed.

PWINGS
PWINGS

@JoeCabot @tyson I'd speculate it's because they're dumping salaries (Rivers, Pierce, Garnett) and hoarding 1st round (lottery?) draft picks. Gonna need that money down the road. If they get rid of Rondo (whose selfish attitude won't fit in with Stevens), they'll be postured to rebuild over the next few years. Smart move if they can pull it off and Rondo doesn't sabotage Stevens.

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

@eggishorn @Wisconsin Death Trip I was actually poking fun at myself. My Milwaukee Bucks are the laughing stock of the NBA (next to Sacramento that is...), and have no real future. Good luck to Boston, at least they have a future....YIKES!

John4
John4

@eggishorn egg - great insight.  The Celtics have gotten rid of Garnett, Pierce, and their experienced Head Coach.   They are clearly starting over.  They will have a few ex Nets, Rajon Rondo and Olynyk on their team (among others) for 2013 2014.  I think the Rivers' first round pick is in 2015, and I think the picks from the Nets start in 2016.  (As always, I could be wrong about the years).  The point is that the Celtics will not "tank" the upcoming season, but they won't win a lot of games either.  Playoffs in 2013 2014?  No way.  Their rebuilding has just begun.