clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder connections Part 1

This dude knows a lot of dudes


Basketball is a fraternity, and as a result, you end up bumping elbows with a lot of the same people. This is the case the higher and higher up you go. If you make it to the NBA and have an average career there is a good chance you've met a lot of people that you keep meeting, on the court, in the locker room, or elsewhere. The networking opportunities increase the more places you have been. One individual just joined the Utah Jazz family, after bouncing around quite a bit -- our new head coach Quin Snyder.

He's a connected guy. I won't bore you with all the details, but here's a quick list of the powerful people he may actually be quite close with.


Amazing Coaches:

Here are the guys he has worked under

Relationship Name Where Level Notes
1 Assistant To Larry Brown Clippers NBA Top assistant was R.C. Buford, who followed Brown from Spurs
2 Assistant To Mike Krzyzewski Duke NCAA Completed JD and MBA degrees in first 2 years as assistant
3 Answered to Gregg Popovich Toros NBA-DL Member of that Larry Brown/R.C. Buford tree
4 Assistant To Doug Collins 76ers NBA Just one of the biggest names in the history of the sport
5 Assistant To Mike Brown Lakers NBA Member of that Larry Brown/R.C. Buford tree
6 Assistant To Ettore Messina CSKA Euro The guy most of us wanted as Head Coach
7 Assistant To Mike Budenholzer Hawks NBA Member of that Larry Brown/R.C. Buford tree

So, automatically, you think Duke guy, so Duke connections. He also has that Larry Brown / R.C. Buford / San Antonio Spurs pedigree too. That is very interesting, and probably why he even got this job because our General Manager, Dennis Lindsey, is cleaning house with his guys. I'm not mad, this franchise really needed new blood instead of just isolating in an Ivory Tower and promoting from within. (The front office started to look a bit too much like Craster's Keep...)

If Snyder is as smart as we think he is, then he has picked up some very good habits from all of those great coaches he has worked with (guess how many Coach of the Year trophies those guys have).


People from his Playing Days:

Some of these guys are big deals

Relationship Name Where Level Notes
1 Coached By Mike Krzyzewski Duke NCAA He is Coach K.
2 Team mate Billy King Duke NCAA GM of the Brooklyn Nets
3 Team mate Danny Ferry Duke NCAA GM of the Atlanta Hawks, hired Mike Brown as GM of Cavaliers
4 Team mate Jay Bilas Duke NCAA Covers NCAA for CBS, ESPN; has JD Degree from Duke
5 Team mate Johnny Dawkins Duke NCAA NCAA Head Coach (Stanford), former Duke Assistant
6 Team mate Christian Laettner Duke NCAA Dream Teamer, Philanthropist, owes Johnny Dawkins like $30 m
7 Team mate Alaa Abdelnaby Duke NCAA Covers NCAA for CBS
8 Team mate Kevin Strickland Duke NCAA Is on this list

When I compare this list to the people at the top of my class from Medical School I see, immediately, that none of us really made it.Then again maybe I didn't go to a very good university. Still though. Dukies go places. It think that one of the guys he used to feed the ball to in college signed on to hire him as an assistant coach years later.


I actually don't know if Snyder is a nice guy, but his Duke pedigree definitely opens up doors.


I think his Larry Brown / Spurs / R.C. Buford connections got him the job, but it was his Duke connections that got him in the coaching door. Okay, pump your breaks. Yes, he was hired on with the Clippers to be an assistant under Larry Brown (where he first met R.C. Buford years ago) back when he was a graduate student; but after that he finished his JD and MBA degrees WHILE working as 'coach' for Duke. And moving all the way up to top assistant led to him getting his first head coaching gig, with the University of Missouri. And from there, well, you should know the rest of the story.