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Celtics announce shocking head coaching hire: Butler’s Brad Stevens

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) July 3, 2013 Celtics News 40 Comments

Brad Stevens

You gotta hand it to the Celtics.  If they want to keep a secret, they can.  In a move NO ONE saw coming, the Celtics have announced that they have hired Butler’s Brad Stevens as their new head coach.

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics announced today that they have come to an agreement with Brad Stevens to be the 17th head coach of the team. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

Stevens, age 36, has served for the past six years as the head coach of Butler University, never winning fewer than 22 games and leading the Bulldogs to two national championship games against Duke and Connecticut. He was the youngest coach to reach the Final Four since Bob Knight in 1973.

In Stevens, the Celtics not only get a guy who looks younger than almost anyone on the team, they get a guy who has won more games over the first six years of his college career than anyone.

Anyone.

He’s gone to two national championship games, and he’s been the target of major college programs.  It’s very likely he’ll get a raise from the $1.2 million he was making at Butler, but I’m also sure he’ll fit very nicely into the Celtics budget, even if they double his money.

You know… you gotta be real good to sneak a fastball by Adrian Wojnarowski.  Not a single writer out there saw this coming.  And because no one in Boston gives a crap about college basketball, I’m sure Stevens waltzed in and out of town without being recognized.  He could have worn a sandwich board that said “Hi, I’m Butler head coach Brad Stevens” and I’m betting no one would have caught on.

This is a new era, for sure.  A team full of young players being coached by a college guy might be what the team needs right now.

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  • Brick James

    Nice hire.
    Actually, fantastic hire.

    However, I think the writing is on the wall for Rondo. Does anyone believe he can respect a coach with no NBA experience who is only 10 years his elder?

    • Brick James

      Go ahead, vote me down rather than answer the question. The fact that no one has replied speaks volumes unto itself. Dig your heads in the sand.

      • Bayern

        you and others who said this all based on what you see outwardly. Rondo organized a camp in california last year and paid for the flight. he has successfully coexisted with veterans earning their trust. he has not had any troube with any of his team mates. too much is cooked up about Rajon.

    • Chief_00

      If he comes in and gives the keys to this team to rondo I don’t see any problem.

    • Arthur

      I think Rondo’s biggest problem is that he’s so smart. Having a guy who’s known for his basketball IQ rather than an old-fashioned Lionel Hollins type is only going to be a good thing. You had a little of both in Doc, but Doc’s gone. I think this works.

  • Curt Hays

    He’s a stats guy and all about preparing. He’s a young zen master. Rondo is going to work well with him, and he’s going to let Rondo do his thang (within reason). #Banner18

    • Bayern

      Thanks Curt, all the media have already decided Rondo will not work with him before even they get a chance to interact. Lot of people don’t see how good of a team player Rondo is. He organized a separate offseason workout in california paying for flying the players. its funny people talk like they have lived together with Rondo or something.

      • Arthur

        Seriously. And people talk like Danny Ainge doesn’t know Rondo.

  • Chulinho

    I’m not going to front, I’m pretty excited about this hiring. I wasn’t expecting Danny to hire a college coach at all. I don’t think Rondo stays though.

  • Curt Hays

    NOW we know why KG and P2 got traded…couldn’t hire a coach that is younger than your two best players!

    • forever_green

      Thats silly and just not true.

      • Curt Hays

        It’s silly, for sure. Which part isn’t true?

        • Brick James

          The part about Danny blowing up the team because he HAD to hire Brad Stevens.

  • Evan Murphy

    Great Move. If anyone can muster talent and performance out of an underdog with a perceived talent deficiency its Stevens. I hope they are patient and give him a shot post-rebuild era. Kudos Ainge.

  • art

    GO Danny!! We approve!

  • Amir Buxbaum

    Now is the time for experiments, so I think this is an interesting hiring. However, the first phrase that comes to my mind is: “this escalated quickly”

  • Mannie

    Guy is a coaching genius. Didn’t see it coming at all. I like this.

  • Christopher Jones

    I love this hire. I admired what Stevens did with Butler and I can’t wait to see what he can do with AB, Sully, Green and maybe even Kelly. A man can dream, but could give some focus to DMC?

    • Ryan

      I think it is almost easier to identify a good coach in college compared to the NBA. I’m not saying one or the other has more impact on winning games, but in the NBA, many fans/media are aware that it is a players league, and players win championships. In college, most of the big time schools get most of the top recruits, therefore when you see sustained success from a school that is winning with less talent, it becomes obvious that the coach is great at what he does. You know he’s smart when he is beating teams that have more talent, and the continued success can also be attributed to his communication skills as the coaches have to convince/make them believe, that their school is best for them. The big time schools that have been relevant for decades, almost sell themselves, or at least give that coach an advantage when recruiting.

  • purp&gold

    Good hire, lord knows you don’t want a coach with nba experience in there. Brad stevens over George karl, lionel hollins,vinny delnergo

    • eddysamson

      all of whom they’d have to pay near Doc’s salary to coach a team with a big fat question mark over its head…right

  • purp&gold

    what college coach has had success in the nba?

    • Double D

      Larry Brown

      • Suarez

        PJ Carlesimo had immediate success before flaming out and proving to be a better assistant. Cotton Fitzsimmons won more games than he lost.

        Bill Fitch spent years in Cleveland leading a team that was absolutely awful before entering respectability, then ultimately won a title with the Celtics and led the Rockets to the finals. Finished his career with over 900 wins, but also a losing record largely due to his time in Cleveland and at the end of his career with an awful Clippers team. All-in-all, I’d say he was a success, though.

    • RedsLoveChild

      Greg Popovich, Chuck Daly, Jack Ramsay

      • Suarez

        Gregg Popovich never coached a D-1 program. Chuck Daly spent four seasons as an assistant in his transition from college to NBA. Misleading examples.

        • RedsLoveChild

          Popovich was a head coach on the collegiate level. Period.

          Daly was the head coach at BC and Penn.

          • Suarez

            Both guys learned how to coach pro ballplayers and earned their head coaching jobs by bring NBA assistants.

            There’s a huge difference between that and going straight from college to pro.

            Popovich coached division III before becoming an assistant in San Antonio.

          • RedsLoveChild

            purp&gold asked “what college coach has had success in the NBA?”

            Pomona-Pitzer is a college…and Pop coached there.

            Relax…nobody is expecting Brad Stevens to win an NBA title in 2014. The Celts are allowing him to grow as an NBA coach, and pick up plenty of on-the-job training in the process.

    • kaiserny

      I agree in the modern era none of the “elite” Division 1 major coaches have had any success as NBA coaches. Rick Pitino, John Calipari. Is he going to be able to do deal with the NBA player ego. He hasn’t dealt with a Top 20 High School player ego. Does he have a player in the NBA? Not being negative, I will still support the C’s but history speaks for itself.

  • greenisthecolor

    This is a great signing. He can grow with the team as it strengthens personell wise and by the time were competitive again he’ll have built up credibility amongst the squad. Reminds me of a guy……..

  • pierce Hart

    Who the hell is he. Always a positive when you look like a young phil Jackson

  • http://www.facebook.com/jimmy.gallagher.357 Jimmy Gallagher

    I f’ing love this move.

  • zippittyay

    I love the pick. Exciting if nothing else.

  • Bayern

    I loved how Danny kept it quiet.

  • Prescott Adu-Poku

    im really loving this right both of my favorite teams are in the process of rebuilding

  • Chief_00

    As I don’t know much about coach Stevens I will leave weather or not its a good hire to the rest of the commentators but I do have to ask if a 6 yr contract is a good idea? It’s seems awfully long for a rookie NBA coach.

  • KGino

    Love it. For those who don’t know, this kid is the man. I couldn’t think of many people I would rather have. Celtics dynasty after this rebuild

  • aidanose

    He can win with the right players. And he’s not Pitino. Pitino won at Kentucky because he had the best players. Stevens won at Butler because he had the best system. He analyzes statistics and tendencies better than any other. It can work in the NBA but not without SOME players to work with. Rondo and Green aren’t going to cut it.

    http://aidanfromworcester.com/2013/07/04/boston-celtics-brad-stevens-much-better-hire-than-rick-pitino/

  • aidanose

    He can win with the right players. And he’s not Pitino. Pitino won at Kentucky because he had the best players. Stevens won at Butler because he had the best system. He analyzes statistics and tendencies better than any other. It can work in the NBA but not without SOME players to work with. Rondo and Green aren’t going to cut it.