WINSTON-SALEM – As expected, Wake Forest announced this morning that Jeff Bzedlik had been hired as the Demon Deacons' new basketball coach.
The former Colorado coach (for the record, it's pronounced buzz-DELL-ick) brings a career college coaching record of 111-105 in seven seasons, including stops at Maryland-Baltimore County, Air Force, and Colorado. He also served as a scout, scouting director and assistant coach in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat and New York Knicks, as well as a stint as the Nuggets head coach.
Bzedlik's ties to Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman date back to the 1980s, to his time as an assistant coach at Northwestern University, back when Wellman was the baseball coach there.
"I am very pleased that Jeff Bzedlik has accepted our offer to become our head coach," said Wellman. "He is a perfect fit for Wake Forest. Jeff holds the same values and the same standards that are so dear to this university. He has a great deal of experience in both collegiate and professional basketball. He will produce a program and develop players that we will be thrilled to have as Demon Deacons."
In a statement released by Wake Forest, Bzedlik called it "an honor and a privilege to be here at Wake Forest."
"“I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work," he said. "We will be looking for a very special type of student-athlete for Wake Forest. We will be looking for young men who are passionate about playing basketball, care about getting a great education, have a high basketball IQ and care about their future.
"Our goals are simple ... We want to win games, get to the postseason, advance in the postseason and win championships without compromising the moral and academic integrity of this great university."
Bzedlik also said that he expects to retain current Wake assistant coaches Jeff Battle and Rusty LaRue on his staff.
Bzedlik coached Air Force to a 24-7 record during the 2005-06 season and followed that up with a 26-9 campaign. The 50-16 record during his two years in Colorado Springs marked the most victories in a two-year period in academy history. Air Force defeated three ACC teams during Bzedlik's tenure including a 94-58 win over Wake Forest.
Bzedlik was hired by Colorado prior to the 2007-08 season, inheriting a team that had gone 7-20 and 3-13 in the Big 12 while finishing in last place. This season, the Buffs finished 15-16 record for a sixth place finish in the Big 12.