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KSL’s Deanie Wimmer sits down with new coach of Utah Jazz

Oct 18, 2022, 10:47 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2022, 11:44 am

SALT LAKE CITYThe Utah Jazz play their first home game of a new season this week with a mostly new team and a new head coach.

KSL’s Deanie Wimmer sat down with coach Will Hardy to find out he’s not exactly new, and Wednesday, he’ll have an experienced ally.

DEANIE: “What do you think of your new office?”

WILL: “Not bad.”

Coach Hardy goes by Will.

It better reflects his many roles as team leader, husband and father of a young family.

DEANIE: “You’ve had a few scrimmages, pre-season games, how’s it going so far?

WILL: “Good. We have a whole new group, not just a few coaching staff, but new players. Right now, it’s about everybody getting to know each other.”

DEANIE: “You have 82 games a year. You travel. How do you manage that with a young family?”

WILL: “I’m lucky. I have an amazing partner in my wife.”

“I do the best I can when I’m in town, and when I’m home, to be as present as possible and help with our two little girls,” he added.

So, forgive him if he hasn’t experienced much of Utah yet. He’s lucky to get in an occasional golf game with team leadership and players.

DEANIE: “A lot of people may not realize that you’ve come full circle. You worked here as an intern, same organization. Now, you’re ‘the man.'”

WILL: “I don’t know about being ‘the man.'”

“I was lucky between my junior and senior year of college to get an internship on the business side with the Jazz. Lived out here eight weeks, spent a lot of time working, not only in the Jazz offices at the arena, but a lot of work for the Salt Lake Bees in the afternoons,” Hardy added.

DEANIE: “They call you a relationship guy.”

WILL: “I like people. I always have. I’m not a lone wolf.”

DEANIE: “Do you take that into your coaching and administrative efforts?”

WILL: “Oh yeah, this is a people business. You’re not just coaching people, and everybody has something different that makes them tick.”

DEANIE: “I know it won’t break your heart; I learned you’re no longer the youngest head coach in the NBA.

WILL: “Thanks to my friend, Joe.”

Joe Mazulla, the new Boston Celtics coach, who is also 34, has Hardy beat by six months.

DEANIE: “Considering your team, your age may be a real asset.”

WILL: “Some things we do may look and feel different, but that’s because I have to be authentic to who I am.”

“We have young players and I need to find any way I can to relate to them,” he said.

DEANIE: “For you, what will be a success this year?”

WILL: “I don’t think I’m going to put expectations on a team that hasn’t played a game yet. I think right now, we’re focused on improving each and every day as a group and getting to know each other.”

His team may be an unknown, but he’s already counting on his home crowd.

WILL: “I’ve been a part of a lot of games in the arena here on the opposing side. The fan base is deafening here. I’m looking forward to being on their side.”

DEANIE: “We’re looking forward to having you.”

WILL: “Thanks, appreciate it.”

Fans will not disappoint!

The Jazz face off against the Denver Nuggets at home — the Vivint Arena — Wednesday at 7 p.m. 

Our KSL Sports team will be there and have full coverage.

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KSL’s Deanie Wimmer sits down with new coach of Utah Jazz