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Mountaineers in the Pros

Joe Mazzulla to Return as Celtics Head Coach Next Season



Joe Mazzulla Celtics

Following being eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics announced that Joe Mazzulla will return as head coach of the franchise next season. Mazzulla just completed his first year in his new role with the Celtics.

“I thought he did a really good job with this group,” Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens said on Thursday. “Everybody’s going to overreact to the best players and coaches after every game, that’s always the way it is. We know that going in. We have to be able to judge things on the whole. He’s a terrific leader, he’ll only get better at anything that he can learn from this year. He’s constantly trying to learn.”

Mazzulla caught a lot of criticism during the playoffs as the Celtics had high expectations with their core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. Boston appeared in the NBA Finals last season and have made the Eastern Conference Finals four out of the last six times. With the high expectations, many believed Mazzulla would be on the hot seat since the Celtics didn’t advance to the NBA Finals. Stevens and the Celtics wasted no time shutting down those rumors.

Mazzulla took over the interim duties for Ime Udoka back in September, before serving as a the full-time head coach. Mazzulla led the reigning Eastern Conference Champions to 57 wins. Mazzulla also coached in the NBA All-Star Game back in February.

Mazzulla, who played guard at West Virginia from 2006-11, has worked his way up the coaching ladder over the past decade. 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.

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.

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