Celtics name Joe Mazzulla permanent head coach

Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The Boston Celtics named interim coach Joe Mazzulla as their permanent head coach, replacing suspended coach Ime Udoka, the team announced Thursday.

The Celtics said they agreed to an extension with Mazzulla, but did not disclose terms of the deal.


Mazzulla, 34, is the youngest coach in the NBA.

"As he has shown, Joe is a very talented coach and leader," Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said in a news release. "He has a unique ability to galvanize a room around a mission.

"We are thankful for the work he has done to help get us to this point and excited that he has agreed to lead us into the future."

The Celtics suspended Udoka in September for the entire 2022-23 season. Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck told reporters that the suspension stemmed from multiple violations of the team's conduct policy.

Sources told the Boston Globe, ESPN and The Athletic that the suspension was the result of an improper relationship relationship Udoku had with a female staff member.


The Celtics named Mazzulla, an assistant at the time, their interim coach when Udoka was suspended.

Mazzulla led the Celtics to a 42-17 record through their first 59 games this season. The Celtics are in first place in the Eastern Conference and have the best record in the NBA.

Mazzulla, the NBA Easter Conference Coach of the Month for October and November, also was named a coach for the NBA All-Star Game. He will coach Team Giannis on Sunday at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.

Team Giannis will face Team LeBron at 8:30 p.m. EST on TNT.

The Celtics will return from the All-Star break for a game against the Indiana Pacers (26-34) at 7 p.m. EST Feb. 23 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

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