Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is moving into the front office as President of Basketball Operations and the franchise will start a search for a new coach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Danny Ainge, who is being replaced by Stevens, has announced his retirement from the job, but he will continue to work with the team on transition planning through the upcoming off-season, the team announced.
Celtics players were reportedly informed last night of this potential move, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Ainge, 62, has been contemplating leaving the job for several months and had been talking about possible succession plans with ownership, notes Wojnarowski.
Ainge also moved from head coaching in the NBA to the front office with the Phoenix Suns.
Stevens, meanwhile, has been described as “worn down” with coaching since the Bubble and welcomed the chance to make the transition to the front office.
The 44-year-old will help lead the search for his successor as head coach.
Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd and former Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce are expected to be head-coaching candidates for the Celtics, notes Haynes.
In his eight seasons as the Celtics’ head coach, Stevens led the team to a 354-282 regular season record, with a 38-40 record in the playoffs.
He also led the team to three Eastern Conference Finals appearances.
Both Ainge and Stevens issued statements.
“Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime, and having worked side-by-side with him since he’s been here, I know we couldn’t be in better hands than with Brad guiding the team going forward,” said Ainge. “I’m grateful to ownership, all of my Celtics colleagues, and the best fans in basketball for being part of the journey.”
“I’m grateful to ownership and to Danny for trusting me with this opportunity. I’m excited to tackle this new role, starting with a wide ranging and comprehensive search for our next head coach,” said Stevens. “I love the Celtics, and know the great honor and responsibility that comes with this job. I will give it everything I have to help us be in position to consistently compete for championships.”