The Utah Jazz has always been synonymous with coaching, thanks to Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan. With long time assistant Phil Johnson and Jerry Sloan’s sudden departure in 2011 the Jazz coaching staff had its most dramatic change in 22 years. The Jazz proceeded to make brilliant moves at coaching, one of my favorite changes was moving Jeff Hornacek to afull time assistant coach.
Jeff entered the NBA in 1986 as the 22nd pick in the second round to the Phoenix Suns. During Jeff’s career he would win the three point competition twice, he would be instrumental part in two western conference finals with Phoenix,two finals with the Jazz, at one point he tied an NBA record 11 consecutive three pointers without a miss, at one point making 67 free throws in a row, and finished his career with an 87.7 percent free throw percentage.
In retrospect the six foot four Jeff Hornacek was a steal with the 47th overall. In an age where the average career of an NBA player was five years, Jeff established himself as one of the top tier shooters during his fourteen years as a player. From 1986 to 2000 Jeff had played with and against the most amazing players at the highest levels of play.
With such a distinguished career and established relationship with the Utah Jazz there was no question that bringing in Jeff as a shooting coach in 2007 was a perfect fit. The Jazz players instantly gained access to experience from 1,077 games, and some of the most amazing NBA playoff situations. This provided results some of the Utah Jazz best players. In the 2007-08 season Andrei Kirilenko had his best field goal percentage, three point percentage of his career, and Kyle Korver had his best free throw percentage of his career.
After this last off season when Jeff was considered for the Orlando Magic job, it was clear that it won’t belong before Jeff is the head coach of an NBA team. Each year we are fortunate to hold onto Jeff Hornacek the Jazz are a better team. Right now the Jazz have one of the best coaching combinations in the country, and are perfect for ayoung team.