Who is Quin Snyder?

The Deseret News reported recently that Quin Snyder is on the top of the short list for the Utah Jazz head coaching position. Not knowing much about him, I did some Google searching.

What I found out is complicated.

The man is intelligent. He double majored at Duke in Philosophy and Political Science. He then went on to get an MBA and earn a JD (law degree).

Quin has a pedigree. Quin made the sixth grade team as a fourth grader and two years later led a team of all stars to the national championship in Dallas. Additionally, his high school coach, Ed Pepple, was the state's all-time winningest coach. He was a two time state player of the year (Washington) and won a state championship his senior year (1985) while playing for Mercer Island high school. That high school team was ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today. Quin became the first basketball player from the state of Washington to be named a McDonald All American. Quin went on to play for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke and went to three Final Fours with the Blue Devils between 1986 and 1989.

Quin married Larry Brown's daughter Kristen (Kristy), and one year later at the age of 25 he joined his father-in-law's coaching staff as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers. After a year with the Clippers, Quin became an administrative assistant for Mike Krzyzewski; where he served on the staff for six years. As an assistant coach, Quin had the experience of reaching three Final Fours (1994, 1998, 1999) and two NCAA Championship rounds (1994 and 1999).

At the age of 32, Quin was hired to be the head coach for the Missouri Tigers. He coached the Tigers from 1999 to 2006. While at Missouri, he coached his team to two NIT and four NCAA tournaments. His team went to the Elite 8 in 2002. While with the Mizzou Tigers, Quin became the fastest coach to reach 100 wins (five seasons), and averaged 19 wins a year during that period. His record when he left Missouri was 128-96 (.571 win percentage).

In 2007, Quin took a position as the head coach of the Austin Toros, and coached there until 2010 (RC Buford recommended Quin for the position). The Toros were purchased by the Spurs on June 28, 2007 and Quin had the charge to implement a Spurs type of system and develop players. During his time with the Toros, he coached the team to a 94-56 record (.627 win percentage); and coached the team to three D-League semifinals (2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10) and one D-League championship game (2007-08). Additionally, Quin had more D-League player call-ups than any other coach in the D-League during his tenure.

In 2010, Doug Collins hired Quin to be the player development coach for the Sixers. Mike Brown hired him away from the Sixers to be an assistant coach with the Lakers in 2011 (Lakers went 41-25 and reached the conference semifinals in that year.)

The next year, Quin took a position with CSKA Moscow and Ettore Messina as head assistant. CSKA Moscow went 16-2 and was champion of the Russian Professional Basketball League; they also took 3rd place in the Euroleague.

Quin was hired to be the Atlanta Hawks lead assistant for Mike Budenholzer in 2013. Atlanta went 38-44 this year and lost to the Pacers in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.

The Complications. While much of what Quin has done shows promise, you don't go from a job that's paying over a million dollars a year (head coach Missouri) to a job that pays around $75K annually (head coach Austin Toros) without some sort of reason.

Quin was forced out of his coaching gig at Missouri due to an NCAA investigation over program violations. Quin was implicated in 17 of them. My understanding is that none of Quin's violations were major (one of his larger infractions was giving an athlete flip flops and a sweater, but he also made phone calls and had personal contact with prospective players; and provided meals to prospective and current players. Also, his wife at the time provided a player with a Nike book bag and Nike winter coat).

Outside of basketball, Quin has been divorced twice. He was married to Kristy for less than a year and divorced his second wife, Helen, in 2006. Quin has since remarried (wife's name is Amy). He has a son named Owen from a prior marriage; and a daughter (Anika) and son (Wyatt) from his current marriage.

Additionally, I found allegations of cheating on his previous spouses as well as partying.

Quotes on Quin. Here are some quotes I found:

David Kahn, "He has all the tools you need. He has intensity, he has ambition, and I mean that in the good sense, and he has drive. He's not lacking in anything."

Kevin Pittsnogle (former West Virginia star who played for Quin on the Austin Toros), "He's different than any of the other coaches you see here. Most coaches here are all about my-way-or-the-highway. But coach Snyder was very detailed, very into his players, very into seeking our input."

Jeff Pearlman (writer of Sports Illustrated and ESPN), "He is part P.J. Carlesimo (the intensity), part Jeff Van Gundy (the attention to detail)."

"This is just how my mind works," Snyder says, dropping one of his workout plans onto a shelf, then spinning to a laptop computer on his desk. "I've always been very analytical. But I'm also very scattered. I know if I get structure I can put the random thoughts into a regular pattern."

Quin on returning to coaching, "It was a gradual thing. It was organic. You're off the radar. People don't see your name or your face. And I think that separation provided more clarity for me. Now I have a lot more control over my life with what I'm doing now. And I feel more at peace with what I'm doing now"

Quin on the pick and roll, "I think pick and roll offense and defense are fundamentally important in the NBA. It's something I wrote an article on a while ago in FIBA Assist Magazine. I wanted to show [Mike Brown] that and emphasize it, because of the high percentage of possessions that have pick and roll in them."

The Pick and Roll. Here's the link to the pick and roll article authored by Quin. The article can be found on pages 8 through 15.

Eye of the Tiger. I found this clip of Quin singing "Eye of the Tiger" at half time in his coaching stint in Missouri.


1989 LA Times article
Note from the 1992 Seattle Times
Mizzou Tigers Bio for Quin
Missouri coaching record
2010 Columbia Daily Tribune article
Wikipedia on Quin Snyder
Pearlman ESPN 2008 article
2008 Columbia Missourian article
Seattle PI article
2010 Lawrence Journal-World article
Missouri NCAA violations
ESPN 2010 article
2010 Seattle Times article
1999 Seattle Times article Profile
NBDL All-Star Coach
Divorce Blurb from Newspaper
Importance of pick and roll

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.