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Mountaineers in the Pros

Former WVU G Joe Mazzulla Records First Win as NBA Head Coach



Former West Virginia guard Joe Mazzulla recorded his first NBA win as a head coach for the Boston Celtics. The Celtics, led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 126-117 on Tuesday night.

Mazzulla is taking over the head coaching duties of the suspended Ime Udoka, who violated the Celtics’ organization rules. The ex-Mountaineer will serve as the interim head coach for the 2022-23 season for now.

“I think that everyone understood that Joe would be an outstanding coach if they watched him on the floor during his WVU Basketball playing days,” said Mazzulla’s college coach Bob Huggins. “In our win over Kentucky in the Elite Eight, Joe knew what we needed to do to beat the No. 1 team in the country. I’m sure Joe will do a great job getting his players to take away the strengths of teams in the NBA. All of us associated with Mountaineer basketball are pleased for Joe. And we look forward to watching him this season.”

Bob Huggins Offers Thoughts on Joe Mazzulla Becoming Interim Celtics Head Coach

Mazzulla, who played guard at West Virginia from 2006-11, has worked his way up the coaching ladder over the past decade. Mazzulla has served as a coaching assistant for the Celtics since 2019, coaching under Brad Stevens and Udoka. Mazzulla was recently interviewed for the opened Utah Jazz job, making it all the way to interviews with the organization.

During his WVU days, Mazzulla was most known for his 17-point performance in the 2010 Elite Eight against Kentucky. Mazzulla stepped in for an injured Truck Bryant, helping the Mountaineers reach their first Final Four since 1959. Mazzulla played 145 career games at West Virginia.

Mazzulla began pursing a coaching career following his graduation from West Virginia. Following coaching stints at Glenville State and Fairmont State, the former Mountaineer was hired as an assistant of the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s G-League team. Mazzulla went back to Fairmont State in 2017 to serve as the head coach of the Fighting Falcons.

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