Breaking: Butler’s Brad Stevens named new Boston Celtics head coach

Butler Bulldogs coach Brad Stevens walks off the court as the crowd celebrates behind him after a game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler won 64-63. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

Butler Bulldogs coach Brad Stevens walks off the court as the crowd celebrates behind him after a game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler won 64-63. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

In a shocking turn of events, the Boston Celtics announced the hiring of now-former Butler coach Brad Stevens as the 17th head coach in franchise history. The signing comes on the heels of general manager Danny Ainge trading 2008 NBA champion coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers and veteran stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets.

Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

Here is a portion of the press release, via NBA.com:

Stevens, age 36, has served for the past six years as the head coach of Butler University, never winning fewer than 22 games and leading the Bulldogs to two national championship games against Duke and Connecticut. He was the youngest coach to reach the Final Four since Bob Knight in 1973.

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“Brad and I share a lot of the same values,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic. His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him towards Banner 18.”

Stevens and his wife Tracy, along with their children Brady and Kinsley, will be introduced to the media at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Celtics Training Center at Healthpoint.

The Celtics are hoping their latest big college-coaching hire will pan out better than former Kentucky and current Louisville Coach Rick Pitino who had a 102–146 record from 1997 to 2001 in Boston.

Stevens released this statement through Butler University, as provided by USA Today:

“Our family is thrilled for the opportunity given to us by the leadership of the Boston Celtics, but it is emotional to leave a place that we have called home for the past 13 years,” Stevens said in a statement.

“We truly love Butler University and Indianapolis, and are very thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate so many wonderful things together. What makes Butler truly unique is the people that we have been so blessed to work with. When it comes time for our kids to look at schools, we will start with Butler University.” Stevens and his wife, Tracy, have a young son and daughter.