BY SPNW Staff 05:14PM 06/06/2014

Jazz pick Quin Snyder as new head coach

Quin Snyder, former Mercer Island High School all-state basketball star with a dramatic past, is the next coach of the Utah Jazz, according to multiple media reports Friday, succeeding the fired Tyrone Corbin. Snyder, 47, will get a three-year contract. His Islanders won the state 3A title in 1985.

He has been an NBA assistant, most recently in Atlanta, and in previous stops with the Lakers, Clippers and 76ers. The former star player at Duke, where he played in three Final Fours for coach Mike Krzyzewski in the late 1980s, including 1989 in the Kingdome, and earned a law degree, gained national coaching fame at the University of Missouri from 1990-2006.

Succeeding longtime coach Norm Stewart, Snyder was 126-91 and made four NCAA tourney appearances at Missouri. But in 2004, the NCAA put the Tigers program on three years probation for minor violations following charges by a former player that he was given cash by an assistant. Other allegations around the program, plus poor records and low attendance, got Snyder to fired in 2006.

In 2001, former University of Washington athletic director Barbara Hedges sought to hire Snyder to replace the fired Bob Bender, but he turned her down. Hedges selected instead Lorenzo Romar.

Snyder began to rebuild his coaching reputation in the NBA developmental league. From 2007-10, he was head coach of the Austin Toros, where he developed a working relationship with current Utah general manager Dennis Lindsey, who at the time was assistant GM of the Toros’ affiliated club, the San Antonio Spurs.

He moved on to become the Sixers’ player development coach (2010-11), then an assistant to Mike Brown with the Lakers (2011-12). He coach a pro team in Russia, Moscow CSKA, in 2012-13, and was in Atlanta with ex-Spurs coach Mike Budenholzer in 2013-14.

Snyder, who was a double major and earned MBA and law degrees from Duke, held multiple positions on Krzyzewski’s staff from 1993-99.

USA Today quoted former NBA coach Doug Collins saying Snyder is “one of the best basketball minds I’ve ever been around.”


  • RadioGuy

    Good luck to Snyder, who’s a bright guy and understands the game. He’ll have his work cut out for him in Utah, where they’re in full rebuild mode…the salad days of Stockton and Malone are long gone. Salt Lake City is a great basketball town where fans have been knowledgeable about the game for years. That can be both a blessing and a curse. At least the Jazz aren’t choosing a retread to coach them.

    One guy I’ve always been intrigued about as a potential NBA coach is an Italian named Ettore Messina, who speaks several languages (fluent in English), has won BIG everywhere he’s gone in Europe and has announced he won’t be back as coach at CSKA Moscow next winter. Messina can coach (and win) in any language or league and even though the average NBA fan has never heard of him, you’d better believe NBA teams know who he is. Don’t be shocked if he ends up as Pop’s heir apparent in San Antonio because they’re cut from the same cloth.

    • art thiel

      Snyder coached under him in Moscow and was mentioned as a potential assistant in Salt Lake. He is well known around the NBA.

  • jafabian

    Interesting choice for the Jazz but understandable when Snyder has a relationship with the GM. I was thinking Utah would be a good place for Mike D’antoni or Nate McMillan. Can’t believe Nate is an assistant coach right now. He’s too good for that. Also think Corbin is a solid coach, the Jazz simply aren’t that good a team right now.

    • art thiel

      Snyder is a very bright guy, but he’s a little like Neuheisel in that he’s always looking for an edge or an angle, doesn’t matter if it’s not legal or ethical. Perhaps he’s past that.

      • jafabian

        The NBA is perfect for him then. Jerry Tarkanian said the only difference between college and pro is that in the NBA the money is on top of the table.