BOSTON (WHDH) - The Boston Celtics announced Wednesday that Danny Ainge is retiring from his role as president of basketball operations and that head coach Brad Stevens is being promoted to the front office to serve as his replacement.
Ainge — the only Celtic in team history to win championships both as a player and as a general manager — will continue to work with the team on transition planning through the upcoming offseason.
Ainge, 62, was hired as the executive director of basketball operations for the Celtics in 2003 and was promoted to president in 2008 after the club beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals to secure their 17th championship.
“Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime, and having worked side-by-side with him since he’s been here, I know we couldn’t be in better hands than with Brad guiding the team going forward,” Ainge said in a news release. “I’m grateful to ownership, all of my Celtics colleagues, and the best fans in basketball for being part of the journey.”
Stevens, 44, was hired as head coach of the Celtics in July 2013 following a successful coaching career in the NCAA. He guided Boston to the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons but the team never advanced past the Eastern Conference Finals.
“Turning to Brad is a natural next step, since we have built a partnership over the past eight years, and he is a special basketball mind. We want him to lead us into the next great era of Celtics basketball,” Celtics Co-Owner and Governor Wyc Grousbeck said.
Ainge added, “I’m excited for Brad. He was born for this.”
A search for a new head coach will begin immediately, according to Stevens.
“I’m grateful to ownership and to Danny for trusting me with this opportunity,” said Stevens. “I’m excited to tackle this new role, starting with a wide ranging and comprehensive search for our next head coach. I love the Celtics, and know the great honor and responsibility that comes with this job. I will give it everything I have to help us be in position to consistently compete for championships.”
The news of the leadership transition comes less than 24 hours after the Celtics were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets. Prior to the defeat, Boston had reached the conference finals in three of the previous four seasons.
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