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Could Quin Snyder Win A Major Award?

The former Duke guard and assistant has done a brilliant job with the Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz v Orlando Magic
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 27: Head coach Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz looks on during the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. 
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

When Quin Snyder was at Duke, everyone understood his keen intelligence and immense potential. He graduated from Duke Law and Fuqua School of business - both - in 1995.

Just think about that for a minute. Lots of people have multiple graduate degrees. How many do two really demanding programs simultaneously? Did we mention he was an assistant coach for the LA Clippers at this time? The mind boggles.

In the 1960s, Duke coach Vic Bubas revolutionized recruiting by doing it systematically and nationally. Dean Smith once said that Bubas “taught everyone how to recruit.”

In the 1990s, Snyder applied business principles to the basketball office and turned it from what had been essentially a mom-and-pop type approach to a sophisticated business operation. In 1995, PCs as we understand them were only about 12 years old and the Web was started by Sir Timothy Berners-Lee in 1989 and the first browser became publicly available in 1991. So Snyder was pretty far ahead of the curve.

He took the Missouri job in 1999 and basically crashed and burned by 2006. Given his brilliant potential, the failure must have truly stung.

He did something then that not many people would do: he started over at the bottom, taking the Austin Toros job in what is now the G-League and working his way up.

He got the Utah Jazz job in 2014 and has steadily built Utah into a very tough out for anyone in the league.

And now Utah is in first place in the West at 50-20 and Snyder is a very strong contender for NBA Coach of the Year. It’s no surprise for people who have followed him for a long time but it’s really nice to see how he turned his career around after crashing and burning at Missouri.