Former WVU point guard Joe Mazzulla leads Boston Celtics to 18th NBA title

In his second season as head coach, former WVU point guard Joe Mazzulla has guided the Boston Celtics to their 18th NBA Championship. The Celtics completed a 4-1 series victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals with a 106-88 win Monday evening.

Jun 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter during game three of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After winning 64 games in the regular season, the Celtics went 16-3 in the playoffs without losing more than one game in any of their four postseason series.

β€œI think when you have great players and you have guys that have been in the league for 17 years, guys who have been to the finals, that have been coached by other great coaches and been a part of other systems, you have Jrue [Holliday] and all of these players with other experience, it’s nothing more than just facilitating. You have to allow the guys to set the temperature of the organization on a daily basis and then you just have to facilitate and fill in the gaps from time to time, depending on where people are at,” Mazzulla said.

A native of Johnston, R.I., Mazzulla played in 145 games over five seasons with the Mountaineers. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 2010 NCAA East Regional, helping West Virginia reach the Final Four.

At age 35, Mazzulla is the youngest head coach to win an NBA title since Bill Russell in 1969.

John Beilein and assistant coach Jeff Neubauer recruited Mazzulla to Morgantown and Beilein offered this assessment of why Mazzulla would later become a key piece on the roster.

“The number one reason we had to recruit this kid is that he is our type of young man,” Beilein said on the 3 Guys Before the Game podcast. “He is a team-first guy. He will be tremendous for our culture because he is a winner. It is one of the greatest prophecies I have ever seen.”

Mazzulla served as an assistant coach at Glenville State for two seasons. He later became the head coach at Fairmont State in 2017.

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