Veteran assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik has officially joined the Pelicans‘ coaching staff as an assistant, the club announced today in a press release. Bzdelik will be one of two associate head coaches under Alvin Gentry, handling defensive responsibilities while fellow associate head coach Chris Finch focuses on offense.
A former head coach for the Nuggets and a handful of college programs, including Colorado and Wake Forest, Bzdelik had been the Rockets’ associate head coach since 2016. He briefly retired following the 2017/18 season, but after Houston got off to a slow start in 2018/19, the team lured him out of retirement and got him back on the bench alongside Mike D’Antoni.
Following a disappointing second-round exit this spring, the Rockets let Bzdelik’s contract expire without pushing to lock him up to a new deal. He subsequently engaged in negotiations with New Orleans, with a report back in July indicating that the two sides were close to a deal.
The Pelicans have also hired former Suns assistant Jamelle McMillan in an assistant role, promoting Joe Boylan to assistant coach/director of player development and Michael Ruffin to assistant coach/player development.