"I'm a little nervous to be honest with you," said Snyder, who was introduced as the team's 5th head coach since moving to Utah. "I think that's OK, though. It's OK because it's that important to me."
After a 6 1/2 week exhaustive search, the Jazz decided to hire Snyder, who has no head coach experience, but brings a wealth of basketball knowledge having worked under coaching legends like Mike Krzyzewski and Gregg Popovich.
"It's such a visible that has such far-reaching impact on so many people for so long," said Jazz CEO Greg Miller. "If it's not the biggest decision that I've made in my career, I don't know what would displace it."
"I love this game," Snyder said. "It's been good to me and I've got a passion for it."
Snyder first met Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey, when he was the head coach of the Austin Toros, the D-League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs. Snyder didn't foresee himself becoming an NBA head coach anytime soon, but Lindsey was impressed by the way Snyder conducted himself.
"Maybe the most humbling experience in his career was the best one," Lindsey said. "It was really central to our decision."
One of the biggest reasons why Snyder was hired was his ability to develop players. The Jazz are talented, but extremely young, so the Jazz are counting on Snyder to get the most out his players.
"I love player development," Snyder said. "One of the things that's central to me in this program is having a chance to coach these young men and help them develop. That's going to be crucial to our success."
Snyder's last major head coaching job was at Missouri, where after leading the Tigers to the Elite 8 in 2002, stepped down amid personal problems and NCAA violations.
"I've faced some challenges in my life," Snyder said. "Those challenges have helped me. I've been through some adversity and that adversity has made me a better coach and a better person."
"One of the things that came out with Quin during the process," said Lindsey, "was how hungry he was to prove himself in the head coaching position again."
Snyder must improve the Jazz defense, which was ranked last in the league last season. But he also wants to play an up-tempo pace.
"The fit for me in this job I think is terrific," Snyder said. "I'd like to have a defensive identity. I think that's an area where we can try to take a stand. It involves habits, it involves energy, effort, focus."
Jazz fans will probably have to patient with Snyder, who first met Lindsey when he was the coach of the Austin Toros of the D-League. But the team sees this move as a major step forward to getting back into championship contention.
"One of the things that is so appealing to me would be to win a ring for my dad posthumously," Miller said. "I think we took a big step in that direction when we hired Quin."
"It's a process," Snyder said. "Sometimes there's pressure to accelerate that process. I think what we'd like to do is build something that will last.
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