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Celtics name Joe Mazzulla as permanent head coach, officially replacing Ime Udoka

Feb 16, 2023

The Boston Celtics have removed the word "interim" from Joe Mazzulla's title. The team announced on Thursday that Mazzulla has been named the permanent head coach, officially replacing Ime Udoka.

"As he has shown, Joe is a very talented coach and leader," said Brad Stevens, president of basketball operations, in a statement. "He has a unique ability to galvanize a room around a mission. We are thankful for the work he has done to help get us to this point, and excited he has agreed to lead us into the future."

The Celtics and Mazzulla signed a multi-year deal, but the terms weren't disclosed.

The promotion of Mazzulla, 34, brings the Celtics' messy Udoka chapter to a close. He was hired to be Boston's head coach in June 2021, but just 15 months later the Celtics suspended him for the entire 2022-2023 season due to a "volume of violations" of team policy. He allegedly had a consensual intimate relationship with a female staffer (which is a violation), but later allegedly made inappropriate remarks toward her which she reported (which is also a violation). The team has not disclosed any of Udoka's violations.

That's where Mazzulla came in. He'd been in the NBA as a Celtics assistant coach since 2019, after spending eight years coaching at the college level. He was named Boston's interim head coach and set out to calm down a club that had suddenly and unexpectedly lost its well-regarded head coach. He ended up doing all that and more. The Celtics are first in the Eastern Conference with an NBA-best record of 42-17, and they don't seem to be missing Udoka at all.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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