College - Lenoir-Rnyne

Bill Branch, 40, begins his 20th year in the NBA and his fifth season as assistant coach/director of scouting for the Nuggets. Regarded as one of the NBAís top advance scouts, Branch is responsible for the preparation of all game plans and reports as well as assisting in practices.

In addition to those duties, Branch oversees the teamís pro personnel scouting, including the CBA and D-League. This past summer, Branch participated in the NBAís Basketball Without Borders program in South Africa.

Branch is in his 10th season with Denver after starting his career with the Charlotte Hornets in 1987 as the expansion teamís first intern. The North Carolina-native spent 10 seasons on the Hornets basketball operations staff, working with general managers Allan Bristow, Dave Twardzik and Bob Bass. An administrative assistant in the player personnel department from 1987-90, Branch designed the teamís first computerized scouting database to track collegiate and pro talent. He was promoted to scout for the Ď90-91 season and completed his tenure with the club as its director of scouting from í95-97, managing the day-to-day operations of the clubís scouting department as well as overseeing the teamís computerized and video scouting services. During Branchís years in the personnel department, the Hornets drafted Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson and Kendall Gill.

Branch graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne College in 1988 with a degree in sports management. He and his wife, Monicah, live in Denver with their new baby girl, Ava McGee.