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Damon Stoudamire leaving Pacific to join Celtics’ coaching staff

Arizona v SDSU Photo by Paul Dye/J and L Photography/Getty Images

After a successful head coaching stint at Pacific, former Arizona star Damon Stoudamire is returning to the NBA as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, according Keith Smith of our sister site

Stoudamire will be working under first-year head coach Ime Udoka, who took over for Brad Stevens, who’s now in a front-office role in Boston.

“Udoka was expected to add some NBA playing experience to his staff and has done so with Stoudamire,” Smith wrote.

Stoudamire, 47, has spent the past five seasons as head coach at Pacific, compiling a 71-77 record. He took over a team that went 8-20 and was facing NCAA sanctions. Pacific gradually improved under Stoudamire and went 23-10 in 2019-20, earning Stoudamire West Coast Conference Coach of the Year honors.

Before that, he spent time on staff at Memphis and Arizona, serving as an assistant under Sean Miller from 2013-15. Stoudamire interviewed for the Arizona head coaching job when Miller was fired in April but the school hired Tommy Lloyd instead.

A 13-year NBA veteran, Stoudamire was the No. 7 pick of the Toronto Raptors in 1995 and went on to become NBA Rookie of the Year. After his playing career ended in 2008 he director of player development at Rice for one season and an assistant with the Memphis Grizzlies from 2009-11, his only pro coaching experience.

Stoudamire played point guard at the UA from 1991-95, helping the Wildcats reach the 1994 Final Four, and as a senior in 1995 was named Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year with UCLA’s Ed O’Bannon.