When you think of Utah Jazz head coaches you probably think of Hall of Famer, and once avid tractor collector, . If you're a little older you may first remember Tom Nissalke or Frank Layden. But chances are if you are in your 20s the only Jazz coach you've really known is Jerry. After all, he was the head coach from 1989 till 2011. A while back I proclaimed that was the "c-c-c-c-combo breaker" because he disrupted the reign of Sloan. However, by digging a little deeper . . . the actual combo breaker is current Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. Why? Well . . . for one he represents the first time in 35 years that the Jazz head coach was picked after an extensive, out of the organization, coaching search. Behold:
- Tom Nissalke is hired to coach the Utah Jazz in 1979. He coached the team from the 1979-80 season till 20 games into the 1981-82 season. He was replaced as head coach during the season by Frank Layden.
- Frank Layden, the GM and head exec of the team, became the coach in the middle of the 1981-82 season, and coached the team for six full seasons before retiring from that job in the middle of the 1988-89 season. This time Jerry Sloan got the battlefield promotion.
- Jerry Sloan was the head coach for an eternity, from that 1988-89 season till the 2010-11 season. We know that he has over 1,000 wins for the team, not counting playoffs. And he's one of the most important people in franchise history. He also resigned from his position and retired from coaching during the season. He was replaced by Tyrone Corbin.
- Tyrone Corbin coached the Jazz for three and a half seasons, and was given the honor of coaching till the end of his contract. (Technically he was fired as his contract went till the end of June, but Quin Snyder was hired by Dennis Lindsey in June before the 2014 NBA Draft.)
- Quin Snyder *won* the job after Lindsey talked to an unknown number of candidates. The last coach to win the job was Tom Nissalke, who won it from then GM Elgin Baylor.
In each case except for Snyder, the next head coach was already working for the team in some capacity before succeeding the preceding coach. Also, in the case of Sloan and Corbin, both were assistant coaches for the coach their replaced. Snyder, on the other hand, is none of those things. He's new blood from outside of the organization -- and probably best -- he has a unified vision with Dennis Lindsey for the players he is paid to coach.
Also, wow, this franchise has had just five different head coaches since 1979. By a point of direct comparison, the Los Angeles Lakers have had three different seasons of three head coaches in a season in the last 25 years. Sometimes stability is good.
In the case of Snyder, his untamed nature (look at all the places he has coached in his career) is now paired up with unrelenting stability. We'll see how this marriage works out. But know this -- he's the real Jazz head coach combo breaker.