Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla was named the Coach of the Month in the NBA’s Eastern Conference on Thursday after a historic start to his professional head coaching career.

The former Mountaineer men’s basketball star has led Boston to an 18-4 start after making a surprise ascent to the franchise’s head coaching job due to the suspension of Ime Udoka. The Celtics are at the top of the Eastern Conference and hold a two-game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks.

BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 30: Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales, center right, watch an NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat as Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla walks by during the second half at TD Garden on November 30, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Mazzulla achieved historic status in Boston history, becoming the third Celtics coach to start his career with 12 wins in his first 15 games. He has kept that form going, leading Boston to wins in its subsequent seven contests.

Most recently, Mazzulla led the Celtics to a 134-121 victory over the Miami Heat at the TD Garden, in front of Prince William and Kate Middleton, who watched courtside.

The hot start has led to a swell of optimism in New England as Celtics fans hope the team improves on its loss in the NBA Finals in 2021-22. The team holds the best record in the league and are clear favorites to win this year’s Larry O’Brien Trophy according to sportsbooks.

At an individual level, Mazzulla is also the favorite to win this year’s Coach of the Year award. Not bad for a guy who was coaching Division II hoops in 2019.

Mazzulla made the jump to the NBA that year after leading Fairmont State for two seasons. Prior to that, he held assistant positions at Glenville State, Fairmont State and the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League.

Boston’s next game is scheduled for Friday night when the Celtics will again host the Miami Heat.