Memphis Grizzlies announce Coaching and Basketball Operations staff additions and promotions
The Memphis Grizzlies announced July 31 that they have bolstered their coaching staff and player development team with several key additions to the organization.
Jeff Bzdelik (BIZ-del-ik), who has over 30 years of coaching experience, including 17 in the NBA, has joined Dave Joerger’s staff as an assistant coach. John Townsend, who previously served as shooting coach for the Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers, has joined the staff as director of player development. The Grizzlies also added Trevor Moawad, a recognized expert in the field of mental conditioning who has led mental endurance programs for the University of Alabama and Florida State football teams, as mental endurance coach.
“True to his word in a relatively short period of time, Robert Pera has meaningfully increased the resources available to our coaching staff and players,” Joerger said. “The addition of Jeff, who brings a wealth of knowledge to our sidelines and fits seamlessly within our culture, is just one of the many moves we made over the last few weeks to accomplish our singular goal of making the Grizzlies a world class organization. We are greatly appreciative of Robert’s efforts and I am confident that the addition of Jeff and others will benefit us in preparing for the upcoming season.”
Furthermore, Jason March, who previously served as advance scout, has been promoted to assistant coach/advance scout while Drew Graham, who previously was the head athletic trainer, has been promoted to head athletic trainer and vice president of player care. Additionally, the Grizzlies have also added several player development staff, strength and conditioning coaches and a physical therapist to the basketball operations staff.
Bzdelik, after six seasons as an assistant coach for the Washington Bullets (1988-94), worked seven seasons under Pat Riley, starting as a scout for the New York Knicks (1994-95) before becoming an assistant coach and advance scout for the Miami Heat (1995-2001). Hired by the Denver Nuggets in 2001, Bzdelik spent two-plus seasons as Denver’s head coach (2002-04) and in his second season guided Denver to a 26-win turnaround and a berth in the 2004 NBA Playoffs.
The Mount Prospect, Ill. native has coached on the collegiate level as an assistant with Davidson (1978-80) and Northwestern (1980-86) and served as head coach at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (1986-88), Air Force (2005-07), Colorado (2007-10) and, most recently, Wake Forest (2010-14).
Townsend has been named director of player development after joining the Grizzlies last season as a shooting coach. Townsend also worked as a shooting coach for the Toronto Raptors (2011-14) and Portland Trail Blazers (2007-10) and the NBA Development League (2002-07) and served one season as a consultant for the Continental Basketball Association’s (CBA) Yakima Sun Kings (2002-03).
Moawad joins the Grizzlies organization to serve as mental endurance coach. Moawad has recently coached under Nick Saban at the University of Alabama and Jimbo Fisher at Florida State University, helping to guide and lead the development of the players off the field to ensure they are thinking at an elite level on the field. Through the integration of advanced mindset solutions, he has played a vital role in both schools winning NCAA Championships for their football programs in his tenure.
March will enter his eighth season in Memphis. March previously served the team as assistant video coordinator (2007-12), director of basketball information and technologies (2012-13) and advance scout (2013-14).
Graham will begin his ninth season with the Grizzlies. Graham served the previous eight seasons as head athletic trainer in Memphis. He spent six seasons with the New Jersey Nets (2000-06) as assistant athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach.