The Boston Celtics have officially named Joe Mazzulla as the 19th head coach in franchise history, effectively removing his interim title, the team announced in a post shared on its Twitter account Thursday (February 16) morning.
"Joe Mazzulla is officially the 19th Head Coach in franchise history," the Celtics tweeted.
Mazzulla, 34, took over as the Celtics' interim head coach in September amid the yearlong suspension of former head coach Ime Udoka, which was announced days before the team began training camp. Boston currently has the best record in the NBA at 42-17 heading into the All-Star break and Mazzulla will coach Team Giannis [Antetokounmpo] in the All-Star Game on Sunday (February 19) in Salt Lake City.
"As he has shown, Joe is a very talented coach and leader," Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said in a statement obtained by ESPN. "He has a unique ability to galvanize a room around a mission. We are thankful for the work he has done to help get us to this point, and excited that he has agreed to lead us into the future."
The Celtics currently have the third-best offensive rating and fourth-best defensive rating among NBA teams -- the only franchise to rank in the top five in both categories -- through their first 59 games of the 2022-23 season. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers are the only other franchises to rank in the top 10 in both categories.
Mazzulla joined the Celtics as an assistant to Stevens in 2019, prior to the former head coach's promotion to president of basketball operations in June 2021. The Rhode Island native had previously worked as the head coach at Fairmont State from 2017-19.