In a move that seemingly few anticipated, former Butler men’s basketball coach Brad Stevens was named the 17th-ever head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics Wednesday afternoon.
The announcement was made to the Butler community through an press release from Butler’s athletics department.
“Our family is thrilled for the opportunity given to us by the leadership of the Boston Celtics, but it is emotional to leave a place that we have called home for the past 13 years,” Stevens said in the release. “We truly love Butler University and Indianapolis and are very thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate so many wonderful things together.”
Stevens leaves Butler after six seasons as the men’s basketball team’s head coach. His final record in the position is 166-49, including a 12-5 mark in NCAA Tournament play. Stevens led the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA national championship games in 2010 and 2011 during his time in Indianapolis.
Danny Ainge, Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations, said he feels he and Stevens share many of the same values.
“Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic,” Ainge said. “His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court.”
Butler is now searching for a new head coach with its first season in the new Big East looming. Butler joined the ‘Catholic 7′ schools as well as Xavier and Creighton in the new conference in the spring.
“We have done everything we can to keep Brad here at Butler,” Butler President James Danko said in the release. “However, the Celtics team has offered Brad and his family a unique opportunity with which no university can compete.”
Some of Stevens’ former players took to Twitter shortly after the news broke.
“The program has been and will always be in good hands,” said Erik Fromm, the spokesperson for the Butler players, according to the Indianapolis Star’s David Woods.
Recruit Michael Volovic tweeted “Don’t even know what to say” before using another tweet to thank Stevens for his brief mentorship. Fellow recruit Elijah Brown tweeted “Shocked” and followed that with a tweet thanking Stevens as well.
The Collegian will report further on the story as information becomes available. Be sure to visit www.thebutlercollegian.com and @BUSportsWriters on Twitter for more reports.