Brad Stevens Should Take the North Carolina Job if Called Upon

The Celtics head coach is rumored to be a candidate for the newly opened position.

If I were Brad Stevens and got the call to coach UNC, I’d be on the next flight to Chapel Hill.

This Celtics team is in a rut, and it doesn’t look to be getting any better. They’re currently sitting at 24-25 and in eighth place in the Eastern conference and despite deadline deals for Evan Fournier and Moe Wagner giving them a quick boost, they still don’t look to be in sync. The team has a star player problem between Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Neither of them want to take a back seat.

On April 1, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge spoke to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich show about the teams struggles. Ainge said that, “Brad has zero responsibility for us shooting 5 for 24 from 3 last night, most of them being open shots. He doesn’t have responsibility when players improvise and are playing with lack of emotion after they miss shots. The only thing that he could do is yank his best players out of the game and go with the other players. That’s the only option that he has.”

Clearly a shot at Tatum.

The NBA however is not a coach’s league. It’s all about your players. Right now Danny is talking nice about Stevens in the media and pointing fingers elsewhere. But if the Celtics need to make the hard decision, they’re going to take Tatum over Stevens in a heartbeat.

The University of North Carolina Tar Heels basketball head coaching job howver, if we look at history, has ultimate job security. They’ve had just four head coaches since 1961, two of which served for over 18 seasons. Dean Smith from 1961-1997, and Roy Williams from 2003-2021. They are like the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NCAA. The Steelers have had just three coaches since 1969. Chuck Noll from 1969-1991, Bill Cowher from 1992-2006, and current head coach Mike Tomlin, from 2007-present. It takes A LOT to be fired from these jobs. Brad Stevens has enough clout to be given the same job security.

Having a blue-blood job in the NCAA has just as many perks, if not more, than a high-end NBA job. They pay just as well, you’re the top dog in the program, and you’re recruiting is basically done for you. Especially at UNC. What high end high school recruit doesn’t want to sport the Carolina Blue and White? You also are able to actually implement a coaching plan at the college level. You are dealing with young kids who are looking to you for guidance, both on and off the court. A lot of coaches like this far more than playing babysitter on an NBA sideline.

Now I don’t know if they’ll actually call Stevens. Just last week he denied rumors of him potentially taking the Indiana Hoosiers head job, Brad’s home state. Maybe he really doesn’t have dreams to go back to college. Maybe he really is a Masshole like he said just a few weeks ago. All I’m saying is if UNC were to give Brad the call, he would have far more success – and a longer career – in Chapel Hill than in Boston.  

Photo: (Omar Rawlings – Getty Images)

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