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Quin Snyder is stepping down as Utah Jazz Head Coach

Snyder is stepping down in hopes the Jazz can evolve without him

Utah Jazz v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Quin Snyder is stepping down as coach of the Utah Jazz.

For months there have been rumors of Quin Snyder being linked to other jobs, including the Lakers, Spurs, and Hornets, so this doesn’t come as a big surprise. Still, it’s been 8 years with Quin Snyder as the coach so it does feel surreal. Here is Snyder’s statement that was sent out by Jazz PR.

“I am incredibly grateful to have spent the last eight years with such a respected and historic organization and in the beautiful, kind, supportive community of Salt Lake City. I could not have asked for better owners in the Miller family and with Ryan and Ashley,” said Quin Snyder. “They represent the Utah Jazz in every good way and I know the team couldn’t be in better hands with Ryan’s ownership. He is fiercely proud of and committed to doing what is right for the Utah Jazz and bringing a championship to Utah. It has also been an honor working with the entire ownership group, Mike, Ryan, Dwyane and others. Danny and Justin are providing strong leadership and I greatly appreciate their efforts and working with them. At the core, and what drives me every day is our players and their passion for the game, their desire to constantly work to improve and their dedication to the team and the Jazz. I strongly feel they need a new voice to continue to evolve. That’s it. No philosophical differences, no other reason. After eight years, I just feel it is time to move onward. I needed to take time to detach after the season and make sure this was the right decision. I greatly respect and appreciate Ryan, Danny and Justin’s discussions regarding moving forward together, I just know it is time. I am forever appreciative of all the players, coaches, partners, and people I have worked with at the Jazz. Your sacrifice, your kinship have made this an incredible and special experience. Amy and I are so grateful for our time here as it has been just a tremendous place to raise our family. Thank you to our always supportive and passionate fans. We only want the best for you and to see you raise a championship banner.”

There’s a lot to take in from that statement. The quote that really stands out is Snyder saying that the team needs to evolve without him. It shows some impressive humility. It’s also interesting that this statement refutes Woj’s story from a few days ago where he talked about philosophical differences.

From Woj’s article:

Conversations have largely been centered on philosophical issues and how the sides can work together moving forward with a franchise trying to make the next step in Western Conference contention, sources said.

The Jazz now find themselves in a coaching search for the first time in 8 years.

But it looks like there may already be a front-runner for the new coaching position. Multiple local media have been putting out the Jazz’s connection to Stotts as a possible replacement.

We’ll see if that happens. It would be best for the Jazz to do an extensive search to find the best possible candidate. But maybe that has been going on already?

In March Terry Stotts was visiting the team, in the stands, and was even on a road trip with the team as seen here in New York. Was this actually part of the coaching search? If so, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around Snyder and Stotts being together during that. Perhaps, the drama going on was beyond anyone knows. We’ll probably never know.

I personally will look at the time with Quin Snyder as coach with mixed feelings. Snyder came in at a time the Jazz were freefalling under Tyrone Corbin, one of the worst coaches we’ve ever seen, and turned everything around. He established a culture of development that contributed to Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell being given the freedom to blossom with the Jazz.

After missing the playoffs the first two seasons as their coach, Snyder led the Jazz to first round playoff victories in their first two trips to the playoffs under his tenure. The first was the series where Rudy Gobert was injured on the first play of the game and saw the heroics of Derrick Favors and Joe Johnson. How could anyone forget this shot?

The Jazz would be swept the next round against a juggernaut Warriors team.

That summer, with Snyder at the helm, Gordon Hayward ruined every backyard barbecue in Utah on the 4th of July. But it didn’t matter as the Jazz had just drafted Donovan Mitchell who had a truly magical rookie season. Snyder allowed Mitchell to work through his rookie issues and it led to a fantastic playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It was a fantastic run that had all Jazz fans in love with the team.

What was frustrating was everything after, especially the Jazz’s inability to ever get past the second round. Following this win, the next two seasons saw the Jazz eliminated in the first round and then a string of devastating playoff exits that included:

  • 2020 - Giving up a 3-1 lead to the Nuggest in the bubble.
  • 2021 - With the best record in the league, the Jazz gave up a 2-0 lead to the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard in the second round.
  • 2022 - Lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the 1st round who were without Luka Doncic in the first 3 games.

It’s this ending that makes the feelings with Snyder conflicted. There’s no doubt that he’s a good coach, the question will always be how good. Dennis Lindsey was demoted last season after some terrible decisions at the draft and in free agency and the toxicity between the two was apparently terrible. Those front office decisions certainly affected Snyder’s efficacy as a coach, but by how much?

All of that leads the Jazz to where they are now, a team that appears broken in multiple ways both on and off the court and without their second most successful coach in team history. We’ll see what happens next, but it doesn’t appear that the Jazz are finished making moves yet. Perhaps the Jazz are making sure to bring in a new coach for the draft that is happening in a few weeks? It might not be a coincidence.