Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Sports

July 5, 2013

Best of luck, Brad

Good for you, Brad Stevens.

The former Butler University coach got an opportunity he couldn’t turn away from when the Boston Celtics came calling.

Every major college program with a head coaching vacancy had been interested in Stevens the past four years. But no job, even UCLA, one of the most prestigious in the country, was enough for Stevens to consider leaving the comfy confines of Hinkle Fieldhouse.

That is until the Celtics, the NBA’s most storied franchise, showed interest.

Stevens is one of very few coaches in the world who can jump from a campus with an enrollment of close to 4,000 to a franchise that has won an NBA-record 17 titles.

The move Wednesday came as a surprise. But the surprise was more that Stevens is leaving Butler, rather than that he got a big-time NBA offer.

Duke and U.S. Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski, the coach that Stevens has often been compared to, told ESPN’s Andy Katz that Stevens will excel in the association.

“He’s really smart,” Krzyzewski said to ESPN. “His teams play that way. He’s just a heckuva  coach. He has a maturity of an established head coach right away. I just think — forget about young coaches — I think he’s one of the best coaches. I don’t think you could have a better guy. He’s smart and he’ll adapt. I think he’ll do a really good job there.”

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told Katz that Stevens was, “The best young coach I’ve seen in my time.”

Whether he will succeed at the next level or fail as other big-time college coaches like John Calipari or Rick Pitino did before him is the biggest unknown of this move.

But crazier things have happened.

Like Butler making the Final Four in its hometown or the Bulldogs returning the next season after losing Gordon Hayward to the NBA and appearing in back-to-back national championship games.

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