Per multiple sources, Georgia Tech is closing in on hiring Boston Celtics assistant coach Damon Stoudamire as the next men’s basketball head coach. This comes after the Jackets parted with former head coach Josh Pastner last Friday.
Stoudamire was a standout college basketball player at Arizona. After 4 strong seasons, he was selected as the 7th overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft. In his time at Arizona, he was named a first-team All-American, Pac-10 player of the year, and a Wooden Award finalist. Stoudamire went on to have a 13 year NBA career, which included being named as the NBA rookie of the year in 1996. After his playing time was over, he moved into coaching, ending up as an assistant coach at both Memphis and Arizona. In 2016, he took the head coaching job at Pacific University, where he went 71-77 over 5 seasons, including 32-19 in the final 2 years. In his first season at Pacific, the team finished 246th in Kenpom’s overall rankings, but finished 120th and 117th respectively in his final two years.
In his time at Pacific, Stoudamire was known for his strong defensive principles and saw his team’s defensive efficiency rankings improve each season he was there. In his final year, they ranked inside the top 100 in the country (98th).
Stoudamire was the winner of the 2020 Ben Jobe award, which is given annually to the most outstanding minority men’s college basketball head coach in Division I. That same season, he was named as the coach of the year in the West Coast Conference.
After the 2021 season, Stoudamire left Pacific to accept a position as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics. Stoudamire has been a key assistant for the team this season, who hold one of the NBA’s top records. Stoudamire even had an opportunity to coach the team on December 27, 2022 after head coach Joe Mazzulla was kept out of the game with an eye ailment. Prior to joining the Celtics, Stoudamire was in the mix for the head coaching job at his alma mater, Arizona, but the job eventually went to Tommy Lloyd.
We’ll have more to come as we learn more and get official word on the hire.
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