Utah Jazz hire five assistant coachesPosted by Inside Hoops
The Utah Jazz today announced the five members of Head Coach Quin Snyder’s staff, naming Brad Jones, Antonio Lang, Alex Jensen, Mike Wells and Johnnie Bryant as assistant coaches.
“We have assembled a talented group of coaches with a track record of winning and successful player development,” said Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder. “They are high-character individuals with a diversity of experience ranging from playing professionally to coaching in the NBA, D-League, collegiately and overseas, and will be invaluable in building a strong foundation for this team.”
Jones returns for his third season on the Jazz staff since re-joining the organization in 2012. Prior to that, Jones spent two seasons as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs-owned Austin Toros of the NBA Development League from 2010-12, leading the Toros to the 2012 D-League title. From 2007-10 Jones served as the original head coach of the D-League’s Utah Flash (now the Delaware 87ers), earning two playoff berths and a spot in the 2009 D-League Finals. During his five-year D-League coaching career (139-111, .556), Jones had eight different players under his tutelage who were called-up to the NBA a total of 13 times, and also had 12 different NBA players assigned by their respective teams to work with him on a total of 14 D-League assignments.
Previously, Jones worked as a regional scout for the Jazz for six years (2001-07). Jones also served as the head coach at his alma mater, Lambuth University, from 1995-2001. During his tenure there, he was twice named the Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year and led the school to a pair of conference championships.
Lang arrives in Utah with an array of domestic and international experience as both a player and coach, having most recently served as head coach in Japan’s National Basketball League (NBL). Lang coached the Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins there for the last four seasons, guiding them to the 2014 playoffs. Previously he served as an assistant coach with Mitsubishi from 2006-10.
A member of the winningest graduating class in NCAA history, Lang played four seasons for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University from 1990-94, appearing in three Final Fours and winning back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992. Lang was then selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 29th overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft, and enjoyed a six-year NBA career with Phoenix, Cleveland, Miami, Toronto and Philadelphia. He also played professionally in the American Basketball Association (ABA), Continental Basketball Association (CBA), International Basketball League (IBL) as well as time overseas in the Philippines and Japan.
Jensen is entering his second season as a member of the Jazz coaching staff. Before joining the Jazz, Jensen spent two seasons (57-43, .557) as the first-ever head coach of the Canton Charge of the D-League from 2011-13, advancing the Cleveland Cavaliers-owned team to the playoffs in both seasons. He was named the 2013 Dennis Johnson NBA D-League Coach of the Year after leading the Charge to a franchise-best 30 victories and an East Division title. Jensen then coached the D-League Select Team in the 2013 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, leading his squad to a 4-1 record against NBA team entries and advancing them to the quarterfinals of the inaugural summer league tournament. Jensen began his coaching career as an assistant under Rick Majerus at Saint Louis University from 2007-11.
A native of Bountiful, Utah, Jensen attended Viewmont High School there, leading the Vikings to a state basketball title as a junior and was named Utah’s Mr. Basketball in 1994. Jensen played four seasons at the University of Utah (1994-95, 1997-00) under Majerus and helped the Utes to the NCAA Championship game in 1998. Following his collegiate career, Jensen played seven professional seasons in Turkey and one season with the Yakima Sun Kings of the CBA. While playing in Europe, Jensen was named All-FIBA Europe Cup Defender of the Year in 2004, along with being named to the All-FIBA Europe Cup First Team.
Wells joins the Jazz organization with an extensive basketball career that spans 20 seasons at both the collegiate and professional levels, and includes time on the staffs of two NBA championship teams (1995 Houston Rockets and 2007 San Antonio Spurs). Wells was most recently working at Toledo University, after having spent last season as an assistant coach at South Florida and the two previous years in the same role at George Mason (2011-13).
Before returning to collegiate-level coaching, Wells spent 17 seasons in the NBA and had the opportunity to work with some of the league’s best coaches – Rudy Tomjanovich with the Houston Rockets (1995-2003) and Los Angeles Lakers (2004-05), Jeff Van Gundy in Houston (2003-04), Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs (2005-09) and Flip Saunders with the Washington Wizards (2009-11). Wells’ NBA career began in 1995 with the eventual NBA Champion Houston Rockets (1995-2004) where he worked his way up from assistant video coordinator to assistant coach. In addition, he also worked as the head scout for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team from 1998-2003, including the gold-medal winning team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Bryant begins his third season with the Jazz since being hired in the summer of 2012. Prior to joining the Jazz, Bryant operated Bryant Sports Academy, an intense and unique skill development program through which he has worked extensively with more than 125 athletes of various age groups to advance each player’s skill set through personalized workout sessions. Among the athletes he has worked with are numerous professional European players and several NBA players.
Bryant is a former standout guard at the University of Utah where he played three seasons (2005-08) and finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in three-point percentage (.455) and ranked 20th on the Utes’ all-time scoring list. He was named to the All-Mountain West Conference Second Team in 2008 and received the Jack Gardner team MVP award for the 2007-08 season. He also set the single-game three-point record (8), and finished his career fifth all-time in the Mountain West Conference in three-point field goal percentage (.490) in conference games. Bryant then played one professional season in Germany with Telemotive Muenchen.