Jeff Bzdelik
Jeff Bzdelik

Hometown:
Mount Prospect, Illinois

Position:
Head Coach

Experience:
4 Seasons

Alma Mater:
University of Illinois-Chicago, 1976

03/20/2014

Jeff Bzdelik Resigns as Wake Forest Basketball Coach

Official press conference scheduled for 5 p.m. today

02/15/2014

Postgame Quotes - Florida State 67. Wake Forest 60

Postgame quotes following Wake Forest's game against Florida State

02/01/2014

Postgame Quotes - Georgia Tech 79, Wake Forest 70

Quotes following Wake Forest's loss to Georgia Tech

01/30/2014

Postgame Quotes - Syracuse 67, Wake Forest 57

Quotes following Wake Forest's loss to Syracuse

01/25/2014

Postgame Quotes - Wake Forest 65, Notre Dame 58

Quotes following Wake Forest's win over Notre Dame

03/12/2014

Wake Forest vs. Notre Dame- ACC Championship First Round

Wake Forest defeats Notre Dame, 81-69 in the first round of the ACC tournament

03/05/2014

Wake Forest vs. Duke - Mar. 5, 2014

Wake Forest vs. Duke - Mar. 5, 2014

03/01/2014

Wake Forest vs. Boston College - Mar. 1, 2014

Wake Forest vs. Boston College - Mar. 1, 2014

02/22/2014

Wake Forest at North Carolina - Feb. 22, 2014

Wake Forest at North Carolina - Feb. 22, 2014

02/15/2014

Wake Forest vs. Florida State - Feb. 15, 2014

Wake Forest vs. Florida State - Feb. 15, 2014


Jeff Bzdelik spent four seasons at the helm of the Wake Forest basketball program from 2010-14. Bzdelik resigned from his position on March 20, 2014.

Bzdelik (pronounced "buzz-DELL-ick") was named the 21st head coach in Wake Forest history on April 14, 2010, bringing 32 years of coaching experience to Winston-Salem.

"It's an honor and privilege to be the new head basketball coach here at Wake Forest University," said Bzdelik at his introductory news conference. "The vision that I have for this program is simple and clear: we want to win, go to postseason play, advance in postseason play and do so without compromising the moral and academic integrity of this great university. It's plain, it's simple, it's clear. I pledge you my unbridled effort in making sure this happens."

Bzdelik posted a record of 51-76 overall and 17-51 in Atlantic Coast Conference games during his four years. The Demon Deacons finished 17-16 overall and 6-12 in the ACC during his final campaign in 2013-14.

Over Bzdelik's four seasons at Wake Forest, one of his teams' strengths was the ability to get to the free throw line at a high rate. The Deacons led the ACC in both 2012-13 and 2013-14, ranking in the top 25 nationally both seasons.

In his third season at Wake Forest in 2012-13, Bzdelik led a young Demon Deacon squad to a record of 13-18 overall and 6-12 in the ACC. For the second straight season, the team featured a pair of All-ACC honorees in guard C.J. Harris and forward Travis McKie.

Harris and McKie continued their development under Bzdelik. Harris was one of the top scoring guards in the ACC, ranking sixth in the league with 15.4 points per game. McKie was one of the conference's most versatile players, ranking among the ACC's best in scoring, rebounding and steals.

Bzdelik's 2013 team featured a wealth of youth with a seven-man freshman class that accounted for 60 percent of the team's total minutes played on the year. Devin Thomas headlined the rookie class, earning ACC All-Freshman honors after averaging just short of a double-double in conference play with 10.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Thomas led all ACC freshmen in rebounding and blocks (1.4 per game) while shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor.

As a team, the Deacons ranked second in the ACC with 7.1 steals per game and sixth with 4.2 blocks per game. Wake Forest's steals average was its highest in three seasons.

Bzdelik and the Deacons also established a distinct homecourt advantage in 2012-13, going 11-5 at the Joel Coliseum while knocking off four of the ACC's top six teams. Wake Forest upset No. 18-ranked NC State on Jan. 22 and then took down No. 2-ranked Miami on Feb. 23 at the Joel, handing the Hurricanes their first loss of the year in ACC play.

In his second season at Wake Forest in 2011-12, Bzdelik led the Deacons to a record of 13-18 overall and 4-12 in the ACC. The team featured two all-conference players in Harris (third team) and McKie (honorable mention), both of whom had breakout seasons under Bzdelik.

Harris (16.7 ppg) and McKie (16.1 ppg) ranked in the top six in the ACC in scoring and entered the 2012-13 season as the ACC's top two returning scorers.

Bzdelik's squad led the ACC in free throw shooting with a mark of 73.6 percent in all games. The Deacons also led in conference play with a free throw mark of 76.4 percent. Over his first two seasons at Wake Forest, Bzdelik's teams shot a combined 74.1 percent at the line.

The 2011-12 squad also averaged just 12.7 turnovers per game, which marked the team's lowest total since the 2000-01 season.

The Deacons were also one of the top shot-blocking teams in the league, averaging 5.1 blocks per game during ACC play to rank second in the conference.

In his first season at the helm of the Deacons, Bzdelik inherited the ACC's youngest squad as seven of the team's 10 scholarship players were underclassmen. With as many as three freshmen in its starting lineup, Wake Forest finished the year 8-24 overall. Despite the subpar record, there were a number of accomplishments worth noting.

As a team, Wake Forest ranked second in the ACC and 16th nationally with 5.4 blocks per game. The Deacons' 174 total blocks is the fourth-highest total in school history and just eight behind the school record of 182 set in 1997.

The Deacons were one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country, ranking second in the ACC and 32nd nationally with a mark of 74.6 percent from the line. It was the highest Wake Forest ranked in the ACC in free throw percentage since 2002-03.

Wake Forest also shot well from beyond the arc, ranking fifth in the ACC at 35.9 percent--its highest ranking in six seasons.

Bzdelik also mentored McKie, who turned in a stellar first season on campus. McKie led the team in both scoring and rebounding, becoming the 10th player in ACC history and the fifth in school history to accomplish the feat. He was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team and received Freshman All-America honors from CollegeInsider.com.

Bzdelik has been involved in coaching college and professional basketball since 1978, including seven seasons as a college head coach and three seasons as the head coach of the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

The Illinois native came to Wake Forest after spending three seasons as the head coach at the University of Colorado. Bzdelik inherited a 7-20 (3-13 Big 12) team and improved to a game under .500 at 15-16 (6-10) by his third season with the Buffaloes.

In his final season in Boulder, Bzdelik coached Big 12 Freshman of the Year Alec Burks, who became the first-ever Buffs player to earn the conference honor.

Bzdelik also was instrumental in developing the Colorado program off the court. He helped raise the team's grade point average to 2.94, and a school-record three Buffaloes were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team in 2009-10.

With the program on the upswing, attendance at Colorado games soared 40 percent during Bzdelik's tenure in Boulder.

Prior to Colorado, Bzdelik served two seasons as the head coach at the Air Force Academy where he guided the Falcons to a 50-16 record from 2005-07.

The 50 wins marked the most successful two-year period in school history. Bzdelik is the only coach in Academy history to have won 24 or more games in consecutive seasons. Bzdelik also guided the Falcons to a 31-1 home record, including a 15-0 mark in 2005-06 and a 16-1 record in 2006-07.

Bzdelik's .758 winning percentage ranks second all-time in Mountain West Conference history. Bzdelik's Falcons went 22-10 in MWC play, ranking him sixth in conference history with a league-game winning percentage of .688.


He returned to the college game in 2005-06 after 15 seasons as both a coach and scout in the NBA. Bzdelik made nine NBA Playoff appearances during his tenure in the league.

Bzdelik's success in the NBA translated immediately to the college game, as he led the Falcons to a 24-7 record and the school's fourth appearance ever in the NCAA Tournament in his first season in Colorado Springs.

He also led the Falcons to a 12-4 record and second-place finish in the Mountain West Conference in 2005-06. Air Force led the nation in scoring defense (54.7 ppg) and finished in the top five in the country in three-point field goal percentage (.404) and fewest turnovers per game (10.8).

In his second year at Air Force in 2006-07, Bzdelik led the Falcons to a school-record 26 wins, a top-25 national ranking and a berth in the NIT Final Four. Air Force set school records for field goal percentage (.490) and three-point field goals (316) and finished second in the country in both scoring defense (56.0 ppg) and in fewest turnovers per game (10.3).

Bzdelik coached the Falcons to nine wins of 30 points or greater to lead the country in that category in 2006-07. Along the way, Air Force crafted double-digit victories over Colorado, George Washington, Stanford, Texas Tech and Wake Forest.

Prior to returning to the collegiate ranks at Air Force, Bzdelik was the Denver Nuggets head coach for two-and-one-half seasons from 2002-05. He was named head coach in August of 2002 after spending one year as a scout for the Nuggets.

Bzdelik engineered one of the biggest turnarounds in NBA history during his second season in 2003-04, leading the Nuggets to the playoffs for the first time since 1994-95 while posting a 43-39 record. The 26-game improvement over the previous year was the sixth-best turnaround in NBA history.

Bzdelik also became the first coach in league history, since the adoption of an 82-game schedule, to guide a team to the playoffs the year after winning less than 20 games. In his first season, Bzdelik earned NBA-wide praise for Denver's competitiveness, work ethic and never-give-up attitude.

Despite having the youngest team in franchise history, Bzdelik's 2003-04 squad--which was led by rookie Carmelo Anthony--shattered the franchise record for scoring defense by more than five points per game, giving up only 92.4 per outing. In addition, the Nuggets led the league in turnovers forced (17.1 per game) and had six of the top 12 marks for single-season scoring defense.

Surprisingly to many, he was let go by the Nuggets just 28 games into the 2004-05 season, with the team off to a 13-15 start. But that decision would become Air Force's, and eventually Wake Forest's, gain as Bzdelik made his move back into the collegiate ranks.

Bzdelik began his coaching career in 1978 as an assistant under Eddie Biedenbach at Davidson College. In 1980, he was named an assistant coach at Northwestern University where he spent six seasons under Rich Falk and was instrumental in the Wildcats' first NIT appearance in school history in 1983.

Bzdelik accepted his first head coaching position at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in 1986. UMBC was making the transition from NCAA Division II to Division I that year.

In his first season at the helm of the Retrievers, Bzdelik's team was cited by the Sporting News as having "One of College's Biggest Turnarounds." In the two seasons prior to Bzdelik's arrival, UMBC went a combined 11-44 at the Division II level. He led the Retrievers to a 12-16 record in the school's inaugural season in Division I and then went 13-15 in his second season in 1987-88.

Bzdelik's UMBC teams also excelled in the classroom, posting a 2.86 grade point average during his tenure.

After two seasons at UMBC, Bzdelik made the move to the professional ranks, joining the Washington Bullets as an assistant coach under Wes Unseld. Bzdelik coached the Bullets summer league team in 1988 and in 1994, and served as Unseld's lead assistant during his final season in Washington in 1993-94.

Bzdelik joined Pat Riley's New York Knicks staff for the 1994-95 season, serving as the team's lead scout. He then followed Riley to the Miami Heat where he would spend six seasons from 1995-2001.

With the Heat, Bzdelik was responsible for the preparation of all game plans, video coordination and statistical data as well as player development. He held the title of Assistant Coach/Director of Scouting during his final two seasons in Miami.

His efforts in southern Florida did not go unnoticed as he received much praise for his work as an assistant coach.


In 2000, Bzdelik 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.

Bzdelik joined the Denver Nuggets organization as a scout during the 2001-02 season. Prior to be being named head coach of the Nuggets, he led Denver's summer league team to a 6-0 record at the 2002 Rocky Mountain Revue.

Bzdelik is a 1976 graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he earned a bachelor's degree in physical education. He earned four varsity letters in basketball at UIC, and he was named team MVP as a senior in 1975-76. Bzdelik still holds the school's single-season record for free throw percentage, shooting 88.1 percent (59-for-67) from the line in 1975-76, and he still ranks among UIC's all-time leading scorers.

Bzdelik also spent six years in the Army National Guard during the early to mid 1970s.

In June 2008, Bzdelik was one of six coaches invited by the United Service Organization (USO) to visit and experience the Persian Gulf in an endeavor called "Operation Hoop Talk: Talking Hoops with the Troops."

During the tour, Bzdelik and the coaches visited wounded military personnel at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals in Washington, D.C., and toured multiple military posts in Kuwait City and Iraq. The coaches posed for photos, signed autographs and spent quality time talking with military personnel about the game of basketball, helping boost troop morale and bringing a touch of home to those in uniform.

Bzdelik was born December 1, 1952 and graduated from Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Ill. He is married to the former Nina Bernardzik, who was a standout volleyball player at UIC from 1974-76 and is a member of the Flames' Athletic Hall of Fame. They are the parents of two children, a son Brett who graduated from the University of Colorado in 2012 and a daughter Courtney who graduated from Wake Forest in 2013.

The Jeff Bzdelik File
Birthdate December 1, 1952
Hometown Mount Prospect, Illinois
High School Prospect HS
Alma Mater University of Illinois-Chicago, 1976
Degree Physical Education
Wife Nina
Children son Brett, daughter Courtney
Playing Background
University of Illinois-Chicago, 1972-76
Lettered four seasons at UIC, earning team MVP honors as a senior in
1976; holds the Flames' single season record for free throw percentage
(88.1%) and ranks among the program's all-time leading scorers.
Coaching History
College Record 162-181 (11 seasons)
NBA Record 73-119 (3 seasons)
2011-14 (4 seasons) Head Coach, Wake Forest
2008-10 (3 seasons) Head Coach, University of Colorado
2006-07 (2 seasons) Head Coach, Air Force Academy
2003-05 (3 seasons) Head Coach, Denver Nuggets
2002 (1 season) Scout, Denver Nuggets
1996-01 (6 seasons) Asst. Coach/Dir. of Scouting, Miami Heat
1995 (1 season) Lead Scout, New York Knicks
1989-94 (6 seasons) Assistant Coach, Washington Bullets
1987-88 (2 seasons) Head Coach, Maryland-Baltimore County
1981-86 (6 seasons) Assistant Coach, Northwestern University
1978-80 (2 seasons) Assistant Coach, Davidson College

Bzdelik's Year-by-Year College Head Coaching Record
Season School W L Pct. W L Pct. Conference Finish
1986-87 Maryland-Baltimore County 12 16 .429 -- -- -- --
1987-88 Maryland-Baltimore County 13 15 .464 -- -- -- --
2005-06 Air Force 24 7 .774 12 4 .750 2nd
2006-07 Air Force 26 9 .743 10 6 .625 3rd
2007-08 Colorado 12 20 .375 3 13 .188 12th
2008-09 Colorado 9 22 .290 1 15 .067 12th
2009-10 Colorado 15 16 .484 6 10 .375 8th
2010-11 Wake Forest 8 24 .250 1 15 .063 12th
2011-12 Wake Forest 13 18 .419 4 12 .250 t-9th
2012-13 Wake Forest 13 18 .419 6 12 .333 t-9th
2013-14 Wake Forest 17 16 .515 6 12 .333 t-11th
UMBC Totals (2 seasons) 25 31 .446 -- -- --
Air Force Totals (2 seasons) 50 16 .758 22 10 .688
Colorado Totals (3 seasons) 36 58 .383 10 28 .263
WFU Totals (4 seasons) 51 76 .402 17 51 .250
Overall (11 seasons) 162 181 .472 49 89 .355
Bzdelik's Year-by-Year NBA Head Coaching Record
Season Team W L Pct. Finish/Division Playoffs
2002-03 Denver Nuggets 17 65 .207 7th/Midwest --
2003-04 Denver Nuggets 43 39 .524 6th/Midwest Western Conference Quarterfinals
2004-05 Denver Nuggets 13 15 .464 -/- --
Overall (3 seasons) 73 119 .380
 

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