Jeff Bzdelik returns to Houston Rockets as defensive coordinator

Houston Rockets have appointed former associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik as defensive coordinator, according to reports in the US.

He is understood to have signed a contract with the club that covers the remainder of the season but won’t join the club on a full-time basis until after Thanksgiving due to prior commitments.

Bzdelik is the architect of the defensive scheme that the team employed last season to finish with the seventh-rated defense in the league.

The 65-year-old surprised the Rockets when he announced his retirement in mid-September.

He began his career as an assistant coach at Davidson in 1978 and was head coach of the Denver Nuggets from 2002-04, leading one of the greatest turnarounds in his second season before he was let go a third of the way through his third season.

Bzdelik also served as head coach at Air Force, Colorado and Wake Forest. He spent the last two seasons prior to this one with the Rockets.

On the court, Rockets were boosted by a 28-point return from James Harden, who also put in a crucial block to help earn a 98-94 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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