The Boston Celtics of the NBA elevated Johnston native Joe Mazzulla to head coach last week, removing the “interim” tag that was placed prior to the start of the regular season. Mazzulla …
The Boston Celtics of the NBA elevated Johnston native Joe Mazzulla to head coach last week, removing the “interim” tag that was placed prior to the start of the regular season. Mazzulla will be the 19th head coach in Celtics history.
Mazzulla, 34, played his high school basketball for Bishop Hendricken and would later play for Division I West Virginia in college. He later rose through the college coaching ranks and would be the head coach at Division II Fairmont before being hired as an assistant under Brad Stevens for the Celtics in 2019.
Former Celtics coach Ime Udoka was suspended by the team in the offseason for violating team rules. Mazzulla was promoted to interim head coach shortly after.
Since then, the Celtics have rolled to a league-best 42-17 record, which is good for first place in the Eastern Conference. Mazzulla and his staff just coached in the All-Star game as the league is on break.
“As he has shown, Joe is a very talented coach and leader,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens. “He has a unique ability to galvanize a room around a mission. We are thankful for the work he has done to help us get to this point, and excited that he has agreed to lead us into the future.”
Along with the promotion, Mazzulla also received a contract extension with the franchise. The terms of the extension were not disclosed.
“This is a very special day for Joe, his family, the town of Johnston, and Bishop Hendricken High School,” said Hendricken Athletic Director and Mazzulla’s former coach Jamal Gomes. “As one of his former coaches and mentors, this is one of the proudest days of my life. But, as great as this day is, the best is still yet to come for Joe Mazzulla.”
Former Hendricken Chaplain Fr. Marcel Taillon also said, “What joy among the Hendricken family today. Coach Mazzulla is right for the job, not only because of the Celtics’ record, but his ability to form the whole person whom he leads. His faith life, his family life, and his deep gratitude for all he has received makes his life a response instead of a job.”
Mazzulla comes from one of Rhode Island’s greatest basketball families. His late father, Dan, was a legend at Johnston High as both a player and coach. He is also a member of the Bryant Athletics Hall of Fame as a player. His younger brother, Justin, played for Division I Vermont and is an assistant at URI.
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