The Celtics hired Stevens earlier Wednesday afternoon in a surprise move that sends the 36-year-old from a mid-major program to the NBA. He will replace Doc Rivers, who is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Stevens had been under contract with Butler until the 2021-22 season, but will receive a sharp salary increase in Boston. The exact terms of his deal with Butler are not known, but USA Today reported that he made around $1.2 million in 2011.
With Boston, Stevens will guide a franchise looking to rebuild after it traded away Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets. Succeeding with a depleted roster will be a tall order, but Stevens has defied expectations before. He is just two years removed from leading the mid-major Bulldogs to back-to-back National Championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011.