The Boston Celtics have a new coach days before training begins.
Joe Mazzulla will be the Celtics’ interim head coach after sophomore head coach Ime Udoka was suspended for the entire 2022-2023 season for “violations of team policy,” according to a statement released by the team on Thursday.
Udoka had a consensual relationship with a Celtics employee, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because she was not authorized to speak about the sensitive nature of the topic.
Mazzulla has served as an assistant coach for the Celtics since 2019 and will replace Udoka immediately. Boston is coming off an Eastern Conference title and an appearance in the NBA Finals, where it lost to the Golden State Warriors.
Here’s everything you need to know about Mazzulla.
SUSPENSION:Boston Celtics suspend coach Ime Udoka for 2022-23 season
IME UDOKA: Who is the Boston Celtics coach suspended for the 2022-23 season?
Who is Joe Mazzula?
Mazzulla, 34, is from Johnston, Rhode Island. He is the son of Dan Mazzulla, who coached women’s basketball at Johnston High School in his hometown.
Mazzulla won three state titles at Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick, Rhode Island, and played four seasons at West Virginia University under coaches John Beilein and Bob Huggins. The Mountaineers made four consecutive NCAA men’s tournament appearances during Mazzulla’s college career, including a Final Four in 2010. He also won a Big East tournament championship and a NIT tournament championship.
Mazzulla shares children Michael Harden and Emmanuel Joseph Daniel Mazzulla with wife Camai.
Did Joe Mazzulla Play in the NBA?
Mazzulla was not drafted in the 2011 NBA Draft. He has never played in the league.
What is Joe Mazzulla’s coaching career?
Mazzulla began his coaching career as an assistant to the Glenville State University men’s basketball team, an NCAA Division II program, for two seasons after graduating from the WVU in 2011. He spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Fairmont State on the NCAA Division II team. Jerrod Calhoun. Mazzulla also spent a season as an assistant to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Gatorade League.
His first head coaching experience came in 2017 at Fairmont State University. In his two seasons as head coach for the Fighting Falcons, he amassed a 43-17 record and led his team to the NCAA tournament once.
Mazzulla joined the Celtics coaching staff as an assistant in 2019.
He was interviewed for the Utah Jazz coaching position this summer, a position that eventually went to Will Hardy – another of Udoka’s assistants in Boston last season.
Why was Joe Mazzulla arrested?
After news of Mazzulla becoming the Celtics’ interim head coach, his previous run-ins with the law began circulating on Twitter.
While playing for the WVU, Mazzulla pleaded guilty to underage drinking and aggravated assault charges at a Pittsburgh Pirates game in 2008. A year later, Mazzulla was arrested on a domestic assault charge at a bar in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck, according to a 2009 Times West Virginian newspaper article. Mazzulla was later suspended by WVU head coach Bob Huggins.
Contributing: Jeff Zillgitt, The Associated Press