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Ime Udoka’s Celtics coaching staff takes shape with addition of Will Hardy, departure of longtime assistants

Will Hardy (right) was a Spurs assistant coach for 10 years.Darren Abate/Associated Press

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka’s coaching staff is beginning to take shape. A league source confirmed Friday that longtime Spurs assistant Will Hardy will be hired as one of Boston’s top assistants.

Also, longtime Celtics assistant coaches Jamie Young and Jay Larranaga told the Globe that their contracts were not renewed and that they will not return.

But a league source said that assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is expected to be retained by Udoka.

ESPN reported last week that Pacific coach and former NBA standout Damon Stoudamire, a longtime friend and former teammate of Udoka’s, was being targeted for another assistant post. A league source said Friday that nothing had been finalized with Stoudamire, however.


Hardy, a former Williams College standout, spent 10 years with the Spurs, seven of which were alongside Udoka. He was also an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, helping guide a roster that included Celtics Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart.

Young departs after one of the longest coaching runs in Celtics history. He and former Celtics video coordinator Frank Vogel, who now coaches the Lakers, were roommates at the Five Star basketball camp as college students.

In 2001, Vogel helped Young get hired on Boston’s video staff under head coach Jim O’Brien. When O’Brien left to join the 76ers in 2004, Young thought his time in Boston would come to an end, too.

“I remember asking Danny [Ainge] what was going to happen to me,” Young said Friday. “He said, ‘You ain’t going anywhere, brother.’”

Young worked as an assistant under Doc Rivers and was set to join Rivers when he was hired by the Clippers in 2013, but Young ultimately stayed in Boston and joined Brad Stevens’s staff.

“The experience was incredible,” Young said. “You don’t usually get to be in one place this long in this business. It was everything anybody could’ve wished for. Seventeen years in the playoffs, five Eastern Conference finals, two Finals, and one championship.”


Larranaga was hired by the Celtics in 2012 and was a finalist for the head coaching opening when Rivers left a year later. He has interviewed for several college and NBA head coaching jobs in recent years but had remained as Stevens’s top assistant.

“I just really appreciate the opportunity I was given to work for the best franchise in the NBA for the last nine years,” Larranaga said in a text message. “I learned so much from both the players I coached and the people I worked with. I loved so many things being a part of the Celtics and take away only good memories as I move on to the next chapter in my coaching career.”

Mazzulla, who will be part of Udoka’s staff, was hired as a Celtics assistant in 2019 and is widely viewed as a rising star within the organization.

Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him @adamhimmelsbach.