USA TODAY International Edition

Hawks hire Snyder to lead push

- Ellen J. Horrow Contributi­ng: Jeff Zillgitt

The Atlanta Hawks have brought back a familiar face for their NBA postseason push.

The Hawks hired former Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder as the franchise’s 15th full- time head coach, the team announced on Sunday. Joe Prunty has been serving as Atlanta’s interim coach since the Hawks fired Nate McMillan on Tuesday with 23 games remaining in their regular season.

The Hawks were aggressive in their search and wanted to act fast. They wanted to beat teams that are likely to wait until the end of the season to fire a coach so they could get a shot at the best available candidates.

With Snyder, who led the Jazz to the postseason in six consecutiv­e seasons compiling a 372- 264 record in eight years, they seemed to have found their man.

“From our first conversati­on, it was clear that Quin had all the characteri­stics we were looking for in our next head coach,” general manager Landry Fields said in the announceme­nt. “He has both an incredible basketball and emotional IQ, and we share the same core values and basketball philosophi­es of having honest communicat­ion and collaborat­ion with players, tremendous attention to detail and placing a great emphasis on player developmen­t. We are excited to welcome him, his wife Amy and their family back to Atlanta.”

Snyder was an assistant for Atlanta during the 2013- 14 season on head coach Mike Budenholze­r’s staff. The Hawks believe firing McMillan and naming Snyder coach can jump- start the team in the race to the postseason.

“I am thrilled to go back to Atlanta as the next head coach of the Hawks,” Snyder said. “I am excited to collaborat­e with Landry to create a successful program that devoted Hawks fans are proud of and cheer.”

With their 129- 127 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, the Hawks improved to 31- 30 and sit eighth in the Eastern Conference standings with 21 games left.

Snyder served as head coach of the Jazz from the 2014- 15 to 2021- 22 seasons. Over his final six seasons ( 2016- 17 to 2021- 22), the Jazz compiled a 294- 178 record, the third- highest winning percentage (. 623) in the NBA and best in the Western Conference over that span.

In 2021, Snyder coached the Western Conference All- Star team, and his Jazz finished the 2020- 21 regular season with the best record in the NBA ( 52- 20, .722) and the fifth- highest season winning percentage in Jazz history. His 372 wins are the second most in franchise history behind the 1,127 of Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan.

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