The Jazz have decided to part ways with coach Tyrone Corbin, the team announced. He was on an expiring contract this season, as rumors of his cloudy future with the team swirled after the Jazz decided to embark on a rebuilding project this past summer. Utah went 25-57, finishing in last place in the Western Conference this year.
Corbin took over in the middle of the 2010/11 season after longtime coach Jerry Sloan stepped down. The Jazz made Corbin only their fourth head coach since the franchise moved to Utah for the 1979/80 season. The team went 8-20 the rest of the way that year, but Corbin guided the team to winning records the following two seasons. Utah appeared in the playoffs only once during Corbin’s tenure, and they were swept by the Spurs in the opening round in 2012.
Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward, a restricted free agent this summer, praised the job Corbin did this season, after a summer in which the team let Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams and others sign elsewhere. The Jazz sacrificed their cap flexibility this past offseason to acquire draft picks attached to player-friendly contracts in a trade with Golden State, leaving the team with a mix of untested young players and mediocre veterans.
Richard Jefferson, at 33, started 78 games and received the third-most minutes on the team this season, and Marvin Williams saw significant playing time for Corbin, too. That led center Enes Kanter, up for a rookie scale extension this summer, to make a public call last week for the team to feature more of its young players on the floor together.
The Jazz also parted ways with Corbin’s assistant coaches, according to Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). It’s unclear if the team’s player development staff will return, Falk adds (on Twitter).
Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reported Friday that Corbin was out as coach, (Twitter links), though the team and Corbin’s agent denied the report to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. Photo Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.