It was shocking news that rocked college basketball fans and, within minutes, became a trending topic on Twitter: Butler University Head Coach Brad Stevens is going straight to the NBA.
The Boston Celtics made the big announcement to hire Stevens as their head coach Wednesday afternoon.
“Please be assured that we have done everything we can to keep Brad here at Butler,” said university president, James Danko, in a message to the Butler community. “However, the Celtics team has offered Brad and his family a unique opportunity with which no university can compete.”
With back-to-back national championship game appearances, Stevens’ past six seasons at Butler put the Bulldogs on the college basketball map.
Many fans said they thought the Zionsville native would stay in Indiana for the long-haul.
“I think it’s probably the best career move that he can make,” said Zach Mader, a Butler fan. “It’s going to be a blow to Butler. It’s definitely going to be a blow for their recruiting.”
Despite the devastation, Butler fans said the program knows all about rebuilding. From one Hoosier to another, they know it’s not goodbye.
“They’ve had good coaches before him,” said Scott Tegarden, a Butler fan. “They’ll replace him with a good one.”
“I’m sad to see him go,” said Mader. “I’m sure he’ll still be around here during the off-season so we’ll see him around.”