The Utah Jazz weren’t ready to let Quin Snyder go.
Jazz CEO Danny Ainge said Monday that the team “desperately” wanted Snyder to stay for another season, though the feeling apparently wasn’t mutual.
“We have spent the last few weeks talking, Quin and I, a lot about a lot of different things. And I think it’s pretty clear, we desperately wanted him to stay,” Ainge said, via The Associated Press. “And at the same time, I’ve walked away from coaching and I walked away from being a general manager after 18 years in Boston, and so I trust that Quin knows more what’s best for him and his family, much more than we do.”
Snyder and the Jazz announced on Sunday that he was stepping down as the team’s head coach after eight seasons. The move came weeks after the Jazz were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by the Dallas Mavericks.
“I strongly feel that [the Jazz] need a new voice to continue to evolve. That’s it,” Snyder said in a statement. “No philosophical differences, no other reason. After eight years, I just feel it is time to move onward.”
Snyder finished with a 372-264 overall record in what was his first head-coaching job in the NBA. The Jazz now join the Charlotte Hornets as the only teams in the league without a head coach.
Snyder’s status in Utah had been in question since the season ended. It’s widely expected that Snyder will attempt to coach again in the league at some point, though it’s unclear when or where.
“That hasn’t been on my mind at all. Just been focused on this,” Snyder said, via The Associated Press. “I don’t know what I’m going to do next year as far as coaching next year or anything along those lines.”
The Jazz are planning to start their search for a new head coach immediately, but the team said Monday that it will take its time. Snyder has undoubtedly turned the franchise into a consistent contender in the Western Conference, but the future is now uncertain — especially considering that they didn’t want to have to conduct a coaching search this offseason in the first place.
Star Donovan Mitchell was reportedly left “surprised and disappointed” by the move, too, which could definitely make things more difficult this summer.
“There’s not really a playbook when it comes to this,” team owner Ryan Smith said, via The Associated Press. “I’m super fortunate to be in an organization that Quin has helped build up. He’s left this organization a heck of a lot better than he found it. But more than that, he’s built a foundation that we can go build from.”