Stevens Heads To NBA After Years of Turning Down Major College Offers

Celtics Hire Butler's Brad Stevens (VIDEO)

By Eric Dutkiewicz

July 3, 2013 Updated Jul 4, 2013 at 2:42 PM EDT

BOSTON (www.incnow.tv) - In a surprising decision made Wednesday, the Boston Celtics announced they have hired Butler University's Brad Stevens as head coach.

"I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic," Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations, said in a statement. "His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him towards Banner 18." (Celtics' entire statement)

Stevens comes to Beantown after six seasons at Butler, where he coached the Bulldogs to two consecutive NCAA Men's Basketball National Runner-Up finishes and a 166-49 overall record.

"It is emotional to leave a place that we have called home for the past 13 years," Stevens said in a statement released by Butler. "We truly love Butler University and Indianapolis, and are very thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate so many wonderful things together." (Butler's entire statement)

University president James Danko and athletic director Barry Collier held a press conference Wednesday night to praise Stevens for his Butler tenure.

"We are extremely pleased for Brad," Butler president James Danko says. "That's a wonderful opportunity with, frankly, a storied franchise. It's hard to argue with the reasons somebody would be attracted to it."

Collier says a search for Stevens' replacement has already begin, but he would not tip his hand on possible candidates.

"Our opportunity to keep our program going and continue to represent Butler in a great way is there in front of us." Barry Collier, Butler athletic director says. "We have every confidence that our student-athletes and our program will continue on without skipping a beat."

Stevens, 36, became a hot commodity after Butler's runs; but he ultimately declined offers from marquee college basketball programs to stay in Indianapolis.

Stevens, a Zionsville native, played college basketball at DePauw University.

Terms of Stevens' contract were not disclosed, per franchise policy.

Stevens will be introduced as the Celtics' 17th head coach at a press conference Friday at 11 a.m.

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