When Do Offseason Coaching Changes Happen?

April 9th, 2014 | by Laura Thompson
Sometimes you have to hug it out. Melissa Majchrzak - NBAE via Getty Images

Sometimes you have to hug it out. Melissa Majchrzak – NBAE via Getty Images

After yet another blowout loss by the Jazz, Twitter and Jazz Nation is abuzz, once again, with folks curious about if and when Ty Corbin will be shown the door when the season is over. Will it be before the team’s exit interviews? Several weeks after the season, so the organization can see who else might be available? Or will management offer him a new contract?

I was curious how the firings of coaches from last offseason went down. Does the coach conduct exit interviews with players? Does he work on draft strategy? How does it all work? Here’s a compilation of those firings, along with the number of days after season’s end before each coach was let go.


Cavaliers – Byron Scott – 1 day after end of season

The Cavaliers’ last game of the 2012-2013 season was April 17, 2013, a loss to the Bobcats that was the sixth loss in a row, and the 16th loss in the last 18 games of the season. Cavaliers management wasted no time in firing Scott, announcing their decision on April 18, fueling speculation immediately that Mike Brown was going to be hired to be the next coach.

Nets – PJ Carlesimo – 1 day after end of season

Carlesimo took over head coaching duties after Avery Johnson was fired shortly into the 2012-2013 season. He took a middling .500 team to a fourth-place finish in the East but lost in Game 7 of the first round to the Bulls on May 4. The following day, it was announced that Carlesimo would not be returning as head coach.

Bucks – Jim Boylan – 3 days after end of season

Boylan was the interim coach for the Bucks, taking over after Scott Skiles’ firing. After a first-round playoffs loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday, April 28, the Bucks waited a few days before announcing that Boylan would not be back the following year, with news breaking on Twitter and then the team confirming via a statement on May 1.

Bobcats – Mike Dunlap – 6 days after end of season          

Even though Dunlap helped the Bobcats to triple their number of wins in his lone season as an NBA head coach, the team went in a different direction, announcing on April 23 that his services would not be retained, 6 days after their last game of the season—and after a three-game winning streak to end the season.

Grizzlies – Lionel Hollins – 13 days after end of season

Hollins was the winningest coach in the team’s history and led the Grizzlies to the Western Conference Finals—their first trip to the WCF—before being swept by the Spurs on May 27. He attended three pre-draft workouts with the team, and was told following the third workout that his contract would not be renewed, June 10, nearly two weeks after the end of the season.

Clippers – Vinny Del Negro – 18 days after end of season

Rumors swirled all season about Del Negro being fired, but the team still won a franchise-best 56 games, the team’s first 50-win season. However, after losing to the Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs—even after going up 2-0—on May 3, the organization elected to not bring Del Negro back for the 2013-2014 campaign, announcing that decision on May 21, 2013.

Hawks – Larry Drew – 25 days after end of season

Larry Drew was in a somewhat similar situation as Tyrone Corbin is in this year: he’d coached the Hawks for three years, but hadn’t received an extension from GM Danny Ferry, so he was a lame duck during the 2012-2013 campaign. The team faced the Indiana Pacers in the first round, evening the series 2-2 on its home court, before losing Games 5 and 6 and being bounced out of the playoffs on Friday, May 3. Some reports mentioned that Larry Drew was still in consideration for the head coaching position after the season, but the Hawks requested permission to interview Spurs top assistant Mike Budenhoelzer while San Antonio was still playing in the playoffs, reaching a multi-year agreement with Budenhoelzer on May 28.

Nuggets – George Karl – 35 days after end of season

Even after winning a Coach of the Year award and leading the Nuggets to 57 wins, a first-round exit to the Warriors on May 2 proved to be more than Nuggets management could take and on June 6, it was announced that Karl would be fired, even with one year left on his contract. In characteristic fashion, Karl told management they were making a stupid decision. Nearly a year later, it’s looking like he was right.

Suns – Lindsey Hunter – 39 days after end of season

This is a paragraph most Jazz fans would probably like to skip. The Suns played their last game of the 2012-2013 season on April 17. New GM Ryan McDonough was hired at the beginning of May and met with Hunter in the middle of May to discuss the head coaching position. Less than two weeks after that, on May 26, the organization announced that Jeff Hornacek would be the coach (and this is where Jazz fans go off into a corner and sob uncontrollably).

Kings – Keith Smart – 43 days after end of season

Smart rode a 4-game losing streak to the end of his coaching career in Sacramento, with the final game on April 17. After more than a month of being in limbo, Smart—who had one year remaining on his contract—was informed by the owner that he wouldn’t be retained, and it was announced on May 31 and Mike Malone was named as his successor.


AP Photo - Rick Bowmer

AP Photo – Rick Bowmer

What does this mean for Jazz fans? Unfortunately, I don’t think history gives us any perfect indicator of what we can expect moving forward, if there are coaching changes. Last offseason, coaches were sometimes given a few days, sometimes even a few weeks, even more than a month, before a change was made. So, what do you think, Jazz fans? What are the chances Corbin is back next year? And if he’s not, when do you think he’s shown the door?

Laura Thompson

Laura Thompson

Laura was a Jazz fan since diapers, even growing up in California. Her favorite things in life are the Utah Jazz, food (whether cooking or consumption of), reading, church, black Labs, and the beach--though possibly not in that order.
Laura Thompson

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  1. Chad says:

    George Karl is the one on this list I would like to see coaching the Jazz. Guy is a proven winner.

    • Laura says:

      Proven winner, but not sure I’d want him, though he’d certainly make things better–and more entertaining. I think I’ve been on the Mike Longabardi train ever since Zach Lowe first brought him up many moons ago as the defensive specialist responsible for the Suns’ defensive improvements, and then it was reinforced with Peter Novak’s article the week after that.

  2. Dan Clayton says:

    Most of the situations where a coach hangs around for weeks and THEN gets lets go either involve interim dudes who probably knew the writing was on the wall anyway, or situations where a team had to hire a GM first. Neither is the case now, so I think if the Jazz are going to make changes it will happen next week, and probably on Thursday. Otherwise, you have a guy that’s not part of your future conducting exit interviews and giving players offseason directions. If you know you’re going to do it, there’s absolutely no reason to let that happen.

    • Laura says:

      Do the Grizzlies fit your description there? Seems like Hollins was both a head coach (not an interim dude) and they had the GM in place (though, admittedly, a newer GM). Seems strange to have him as part of the pre-draft workouts before letting him go.

      The Larry Drew one was strange, too. Seems to parallel Ty’s situation. Not an interim, and GM was already in place.

      But I agree with you that there’s no reason to let it drag on.

      Fingers crossed!

  3. Aaron says:

    I think you missed Philadelphia. That one seemed pretty clear-cut that Collins was on his way out, but they sure took their time hiring a replacement. I think he’s gone, and if they’re decent about it they won’t let it drag on, and hopefully there’s an official announcement no later than Friday.

  4. Laura says:

    Aaron, I did look at that one for a bit, but since Collins resigned, decided against putting it in the article here. A slightly different situation, but maybe it could have been added.

    Next Friday is a popular choice I’ve been seeing (on Twitter).

  5. Pat says:

    Bottom line: I can’t see the Jazz winning a championship with Ty as the head coach. That’s all I need to believe, really, to want him to be let go.

    Let’s try someone new.

  6. matt says:

    I personally would like to see Corbin fired 1 day after, but then for Jazz to take their time on hiring the right coach. You know hold some interviews, do some research and what not.

    Personally, I want Brad Jones to be given a 1 year deal as HC, with Corbin, Sanders and Lowe all kicked out. So we need a new HC, and 2 new assisstants. I mean what is the point of starting fresh if you keep the same old coach or his old buddies who combined haven’t done nothing.

    I see Brad Jones as a guy we could lose, who would get a HC job, and end up being amazing….just like Hornacek. We don’t want 2 great coaches being taken from under us.

  7. eaton53 says:

    Ty Corbin will thanked for all of his success as the Tank Commander and fired while the players are cleaning out their lockers.

    Now that we lost the Big Game to the Lakers, it’s time to move in a new direction.

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