Utah Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen has been named as a candidate for multiple head coaching jobs, both collegiate and NBA, recently.
Last May, the Utah Jazz coaching staff was dealt a significant blow when lead assistant Igor Kokoskov was hired away by the Phoenix Suns. According to reports, head coach Quin Snyder could potentially lose yet another key cog this offseason.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Jazz assistant Alex Jensen is one of the people being targeted by Cleveland Cavaliers GM Koby Altman for their head coaching vacancy. Other reported targets include Miami’s Juwan Howard, Dallas’ Jamahl Mosley and Portland’s David Vanterpool.
On paper, Jensen makes a lot of sense as a head coaching candidate in the Association, especially for the Cavs. He has been highly touted as player development specialist, and boasts Jazz big man Rudy Gobert as his star pupil. In other words, he’s likely a strong fit for a young/rebuilding team like Cleveland.
Jensen also has previous experience as part of the Cavs organization. He was head coach of their G-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, from 2011 to 2013. The 42-year-old compiled a 57-43 record over that span, and was named the developmental league’s Coach of the Year after his second season.
He went on to join the Jazz that summer and has remained with the club ever since.
It’s hard to say whether Jensen really wants to return to the Cavs or if Altman considers him a leading candidate for their job, but one thing seems pretty certain — the Jazz coach and former University of Utah standout wants to lead his own bench.
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Earlier this month, he interviewed with BYU for their head coaching gig. As both a Utah man and a member of the Jazz faithful, I, for one, was relieved when it was reported that Jensen’s interest in that particular job was only lukewarm. The Cougars eventually hired Mark Pope to fill the role.
An NBA job is a different animal, though, and represents a major step up in his career path. As a fan of Jensen, you’ve got to be happy he’s being considered for that kind of opportunity. However, his departure would definitely hurt the Jazz, just as Kokoskov’s did this past season.