Quin Snyder stepping down as head coach of Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder watches during the first half of his team’s NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. (Jeff Chiu, Associated Press)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Quin Snyder is stepping down as head coach of the Utah Jazz, the team announced Sunday.

The decision comes after months of rumors that Snyder could be looking elsewhere. Snyder spent eight seasons with the Jazz and took the team to the playoffs five straight times. The Jazz, though, never made it past the second round under Snyder.

Still, this wasn’t a firing and Snyder wasn’t pushed out; this was the coach’s choice. He had one year left on his deal — not including an option year — and the Jazz hoped he’d return.

“Quin Snyder has embodied what Jazz basketball is for the last eight years,” said Jazz owner Ryan Smith in a statement. “The tireless work ethic and attention to detail Quin displayed each day is a testament to the professional he is. I have nothing but admiration for Quin and respect his decision. On behalf of Ashley and I along with our ownership group and our entire organization, we thank Quin and Amy from the bottom of our hearts for all of their contributions to the state of Utah and the Jazz and wish them nothing but the best.”

Snyder said in a statement that there was no “philosophical differences” that led to his decision, just that he felt the organization needed a “new voice to continue to evolve.”

“After eight years, I just feel it is time to move onward,” he said. “I needed to take time to detach after the season and make sure this was the right decision.”

Snyder said he was appreciative of the time and discussions that Smith and team executives Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik provided since the season ended, but he admitted: “I just know it is time.”

“I am forever appreciative of all the players, coaches, partners, and people I have worked with at the Jazz,” he said. “Your sacrifice, your kinship have made this an incredible and special experience. Amy and I are so grateful for our time here as it has been just a tremendous place to raise our family. Thank you to our always supportive and passionate fans. We only want the best for you and to see you raise a championship banner.”

Snyder, who is highly regarded around the league, rebuilt a lottery team into a perennial playoff team during his eight seasons in Utah and finished with a 372-264 overall record.

Starting in March, though, there has been near constant speculation about Snyder’s status for next season — speculation that Snyder had multiple chances to shoot down but never did. That ultimately made Sunday’s news less of a shock.

“I am incredibly grateful to have spent the last eight years with such a respected and historic organization and in the beautiful, kind, supportive community of Salt Lake City. I could not have asked for better owners in the Miller family and with Ryan and Ashley (Smith),” Snyder said. “They represent the Utah Jazz in every good way and I know the team couldn’t be in better hands with Ryan’s ownership. He is fiercely proud of and committed to doing what is right for the Utah Jazz and bringing a championship to Utah.”

This story will be updated.

Ryan Miller has covered the Utah Jazz for KSL.com since 2018.

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