College - Illinois-Chicago '76
Hired as as the Denver Nuggets Head Coach in August of 2002.
Bzdelik (buzz-DIL-ik), who served as a scout for the Nuggets last season, brings 25 years of coaching experience to Denver, including 12 seasons as an NBA assistant coach. Led the Nuggets to a perfect 6-0 record as the team’s head coach at the 2002 Rocky Mountain Revue summer league in Salt Lake City.
From 1995-01, Bzdelik was an assistant coach under Pat Riley in Miami, holding the title of Assistant Coach/Director of Scouting during the final two years. With the Heat, he was responsible for the preparation of all game plans, video coordination and statistical data as well as player development. In 2000, he was recognized by USA Today as one of the NBA’s top five assistant coaches. In the 1998 Pro Basketball issue of Sports Illustrated, he was voted as the NBA’s best advance scout by league General Managers.
Prior to his tenure with the Heat, Bzdelik spent the 1994-95 season as the lead scout for Riley and the New York Knicks. He also served as an assistant coach with the then Washington Bullets from 1988-94 and was Wes Unseld’s first assistant in ’93-94. In addition, he coached the Bullets summer league team in 1988 and 1994.
The Illinois native began his coaching career in 1978 at Davison (N.C.) College. In 1980, he was named as an assistant coach at Northwestern University where he spent six seasons and was instrumental in the Wildcats’ first NIT appearance in school history. He then took the head coaching position at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County for two years. During the 1986-87 season at UMBC, his squad was cited by The Sporting News as “One of College’s Biggest Turnarounds”, in the school’s inaugural season in Division I. After going just 11-44 the previous two seasons before Bzdelik’s arrival, UMBC went 12-16 in his first year.
A 1976 graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago, Bzdelik earned four varsity letters at UIC and was named team MVP in ’75-76. He still ranks among UIC’s all-time leading scorers.
Bzdelik and his wife Nina have two children, Brett and Courtney.