Butler University basketball coach Brad Stevens will leave the program to take the head coaching job with the Boston Celtics, according to news releases from the university and the NBA team.
Stevens, a 36-year old who led the Bulldogs to a 166-49 (.772) record during his six-year span with the program, had success at the University that was never seen before. He led the Bulldogs to back-to-back national championship games and he ends his tenure with a 12-5 record in the NCAA basketball tournament.
Here’s the message sent by Butler Wednesday:
Brad Stevens, head coach of the Butler University men’s basketball team, today accepted the position of head coach of the Boston Celtics. Please be assured that we have done everything we can to keep Brad here at Butler; however, the Celtics team has offered Brad and his family a unique opportunity with which no university can compete.
This news will naturally be distressing to many of you, and our community will need to unite in the coming days and months as we collectively accept Brad’s departure. As we begin this process, I encourage you to join the men’s basketball team’s players and coaches, Brad’s family and friends, and our community as we congratulate Brad on this well-deserved personal accomplishment.
In keeping with The Butler Way, Brad has given his talent to our University with exceptional generosity, integrity, and humility. His record as the winningest coach in NCAA history during his first five years as head coach, his leadership of Butler’s dual NCAA Final Four® runs, and his work ethic have made him a beloved member of our community. Therefore, let us return that generosity and show him our support as he begins his NBA career.
Rest assured that we are already in the process of hiring a new head coach, and we are confident that Butler’s first year in the BIG EAST will be an outstanding one. We will provide you with an update on the team’s new coaching structure shortly.
Despite Butler’s great fortune in having some legendary leaders, the influence of any one individual has always been transcended by the strength of our University’s academic mission, the spirit of our students and fans, the magic of Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the tradition of Butler athletics. These Butler attributes exist not only because of great leaders, but because of all of you. This campus attracts people like Brad Stevens because we are a community that genuinely cares about striving for excellence, preparing our students for fulfilling lives and careers, and striving to make our region—and the world—a better place.
At the risk of sounding trite, we refer to the age-old adage that everything happens for a reason. As we reflect upon Brad’s departure, we can remember this. Butler has an extremely bright future—in academics, athletics, and beyond.