Wake Forest announced Thursday that head basketball coach Jeff Bzdelik will not be returning as Wake Forest's head coach following the Deacons' loss in the second round of the ACC Tournament to the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Bzdelik, who was in his fourth year in Winston-Salem, concluded his tenure at Wake Forest with an overall record of 51-76 (17-51 in the ACC), including a 17-16 record in his final season with the Demon Deacons. Additionally, Bzdelik failed to advance to postseason play in his four seasons.
Bzdelik was hired by Athletic Director Ron Wellman in April, 2010 to replace Dino Gaudio. The Demon Deacons stumbled to an 8-24 overall record in Bzdelik’s first season, including only one total conference win. The Deacs went 13-18 in both Bzdelik’s second and third season, before ultimately going 17-16 in Bzdelik’s final season.
At times, Bzdelik’s teams played well from the confines of the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the Deacs recorded a 41-28 record including a monumental win in 2012-13 over second-ranked Miami and a shocking upset of nationally-ranked Duke in 2013-14. Ultimately though, Bzdelik will likely be remembered by the Deacon faithful for his road woes, where his teams stumbled to a total record of 5-37 including an incredible 2-32 on the road against conference opponents. The lone two wins came against last place teams in the ACC (Boston College in 2012, Virginia Tech in 2014).
Bzdelik’s overall winning percentage of .401 is the 13th worst in ACC history and the worst ever at Wake Forest for a coach who spent more than two years with the Demon Deacons. Similarly, Bzdelik’s regular season ACC record of 17-51 (.250) ranks seventh worst in ACC history for coaches who coached more than one year and only ahead of Bob Staak (.127) in Wake Forest history. Furthermore, Bzdelik’s ACC record ranks third worst in ACC history of coaches who spent at least four years in the conference.
Bzdelik’s 76 losses over the previous four years are the most losses ever in four years in Wake Forest history.
According to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, Wake’s record against top 100 teams during Bzdelik’s tenure was 14-55 (.202). Wake’s record against teams ranked 101-200 was 13-16 (.448), and Wake’s record against teams ranked worse than 200th was 24-5 (.827). Prior to Bzdelik’s arrival in Winston-Salem, Wake’s lost only five games against teams ranked worse than 100th in the KenPom era (dating back to 2003), Bzdelik lost a total of 20 in just four years.
2013-14 is widely regarded as Bzdelik's most successful season with the Demon Deacons. The Deacs finished the season ranked 115th in KenPom, won 17 games, knocked off Duke, UNC, and N.C. State at home, and went 6-12 in conference play. This final season for Bzdelik was most comparable to Dino Gaudio's first season as head coach of the Demon Deacons, where Wake finished 69th in KenPom, won 17 games, knocked off Duke and N.C. State at home, while finishing ACC play with a 7-9 record. That 2008 squad was the tenth least experienced team in the nation, while the 2013-14 version of the Deacs came in as the 103rd least experienced team.
Wake is currently conducting a search for a new head coach.