Some breaking news, Butler’s coach Brad Stevens has been hired to take over the vacant head coaching spot for the Boston Celtics. This is a massive deal both for Stevens and his aspirations in the coaching world and for the basketball landscape.
After playing in the Atlantic 10 conference for a long time, Butler just transferred over to the Big East where the team will face much stiffer competition. They go from facing off against teams like VCU, St Joseph’s and Richmond, which are some of the better teams in the Atlantic 10, to playing teams like Georgetown, Marquette and Villanova. No doubt that Butler will face many more struggles in their new conference.
That was projected to happen with coach Stevens at the helm, a coach that knows his roster and has transformed the Butler program into a perennial contender in the NCAA tournament. Now he’s gone to the NBA, chasing dreams of professional coaching and Butler is left without a clear leader to coach this team.
Without Stevens, the Butler roster will be a lot less cohesive and their plays might just go out the window. As this is still early in the process, I have not heard who might take over the coaching duties for the Butler Bulldogs and who it will end up being is important. If it is an assistant, then their plays might remain consistent but if Butler brings in someone from the outside, the new coach might decide to blow up the playbook which would instantly force Butler into a transition year.
Not only that, Stevens has long been rumored to be one of the next in lines for the job at Duke once coach K retired. This was why a lot of people thought Stevens was fine at Butler, building his portfolio and having all the power he wanted. Turns out he had dreams bigger than the NCAA and given the chance, he took it.
The last time the Boston Celtics hired a college coach it was Rick Pitino, it didn’t go so well. Hopefully for Stevens this will not be a repeat of the same situation. Going to the NBA is great for his resume if he does well but he now loses a lot of the power he had at Butler where he was basically a demigod. The Celtics are in clear rebuild mode and Stevens will be given much more rope but he will need to show the ability to gain the respect and attention of NBA players, something he has never had to do at the college level.
We will keep you up to date as the situation unfolds.