View Full Version : Bzdelik to be new Nuggets head coach

08-15-2002, 01:05 PM
Bzdelik likely to be introduced Monday

Associated Press

DENVER -- Following a prolonged search delayed by the withdrawal of four candidates, the Denver Nuggets will name assistant Jeff Bzdelik as their new coach next week, a team source said Wednesday.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said Bzdelik likely will be introduced during a news conference on Monday. The hiring was first reported by The Denver Post in Wednesday's editions.

Considered one of the league's top defensive minds, the 49-year-old Bzdelik served as an assistant for six years under Miami Heat coach Pat Riley. He joined the Nuggets last season after leaving the Heat.

Bzdelik served as the Nuggets' East Coast scout last season, and he was promoted to assistant coach on July 10.

Bzdelik made an impression immediately in his new job. He used an aggressive style of play to lead a team of youngsters to an undefeated record in the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league in Salt Lake City.

Bzdelik, who has 12 years of experience as an NBA assistant, has only limited experience as a head coach -- two years at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County from 1986-88. He subsequently was an assistant with the Washington Bullets and spent several years as an NBA scout.

NBA general managers voted him the league's best advance scout in a 1998 Sports Illustrated poll. USA Today named him one of the NBA's top five assistants in 2000.

Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe was in Hawaii at the Pete Newell Big Man Camp and was unavailable for comment.

Bzdelik became a front-runner for the Denver job after assistant coaches Donn Nelson of Dallas, Eddie Jordan of New Jersey, Phil Johnson of Utah and Del Harris of Dallas all withdrew their names from consideration during a six-week period.

The Nuggets have been seeking a permanent head coach since Dan Issel was forced out in December after uttering a racially insensitive remark following a loss.

Mike Evans became coach on an interim basis, compiling an 18-38 record.

Vandeweghe has refrained from discussing candidates, but Bzdelik and Nuggets assistant Clyde Drexler were believed to be among the last remaining contenders.

Source: Bzdelik likely to be introduced Monday (http://[L=http://espn.go.com/nba/news/2002/0814/1418080.html]http://espn.go.com/nba/news/2002/0814/1418080.html)

08-15-2002, 02:19 PM

Sounds like a sneeze.