Brooklyn Nets name Hetzel, Howard, Dulkys, Griffin and Bader to coaching staff

Juwan Howard was named to the Nets coaching staff.|Art or Photo Credit: AP

BROOKLYN – The Brooklyn Nets have named Steve Hetzel, Juwan Howard, Deividas Dulkys, Connor Griffin and Travis Bader as assistant coaches on head coach Jordi Fernández’s staff. They join Jay Hernandez, Adam Caporn, Ryan Forehan-Kelly and Corey Vinson on Brooklyn’s bench.

Hetzel comes to Brooklyn from Portland, where he was an assistant coach on the Trail Blazers’ staff for the past three seasons (2021-24). He previously served as an assistant coach for three seasons (2018-21) with the Orlando Magic following a four-year stint (2014-18) as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets. Hetzel was also the head coach of the Canton Charge in the NBA G League for one season (2013-14) while Fernández served as his lead assistant coach. The pair helped guide the Cavaliers’ affiliate to a 28-22 record and second-place finish in the East division while allowing the fewest points per game (101.5) of any team in the league. Before his time with the Charge, Hetzel served as a player development coach for four seasons (2009-13) in Detroit. He began his NBA career in the video room, first as an assistant video coordinator with San Antonio for the 2005-06 season and then spending three seasons (2006-09) as a video coordinator in Cleveland. The Allen Park, Mich., native is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he served as a student manager for the men’s basketball team.

Howard joins the Nets’ staff after serving as the head coach of his alma mater, the University of Michigan, for the past five seasons (2019-24). While at the helm in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines compiled an 87-72 record, which included trips to the Sweet 16 (2022) and Elite Eight (2021) in the NCAA Tournament and a regular season Big Ten Conference championship. At the conclusion of the 2020-21 season, Howard earned National Coach of the Year honors. Before his stint leading Michigan, Howard spent six seasons (2013-19) as an assistant coach with the Miami Heat. During his tenure, Miami made three postseason appearances, including securing an Eastern Conference championship in 2014. He joined the coaching ranks after a 19-year (1994-2013) NBA career, where he was a two-time champion (2012 and 2013) as a player for the Heat. In 1,208 career games with Washington, Dallas, Denver, Orlando, Houston, Charlotte, Portland and Miami, Howard recorded averages of 13.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 30.3 minutes per game. Selected fifth overall in the first round of the 1994 NBA Draft by Washington, Howard earned an NBA All-Rookie Second Team nomination in 1995 and achieved an All-Star appearance and All-NBA Third Team honors in 1996 as a member of the Bullets. The Chicago native played three seasons (1991-94) at the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the famed “Fab Five” and helped lead the school to back-to-back Final Four and national championship game appearances (1992, 1993). As a junior, he was a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team recipient and an All-America Third Team awardee.

Dulkys joins Brooklyn’s bench after spending the last two seasons (2022-24) as an assistant and player development coach for the Sacramento Kings. The Šilutė, Lithuania, native also spent one season (2021-22) as an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies’ NBA G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle. Before becoming a coach, Dulkys played professionally overseas, competing with teams in Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Turkey, Italy and Spain over the course of his nine-year playing career (2012-21). He spent four seasons (2008-12) at Florida State University, where he helped lead the program to the NCAA Tournament in each of his four seasons, including a run to the Sweet 16 as a junior. He ranks third all-time in Seminoles’ history with 203 career 3-pointers made.

Griffin arrives in Brooklyn after three seasons (2021-24) with the Denver Nuggets. He spent the last two seasons (2022-24) as head video coordinator/player development while assisting a postseason run in 2023 that resulted in the Nuggets’ first NBA championship. Griffin originally joined Denver ahead of the 2021-22 season as an assistant video coordinator. The Lake Oswego, Ore., native began his coaching career at Pepperdine University, where he started as a graduate manager for the men’s basketball team for two seasons (2018-20) before transitioning to video coordinator for the men’s and women’s basketball programs (2020-21). Griffin was a walk-on player at Gonzaga University, where he played in 29 games over two seasons (2013-15) and helped the Bulldogs to a pair of West Coast Conference championships. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he joined the football program as a tight end and wide receiver for two seasons (2015-16), during which the Huskies won the 2016 Pac-12 championship game and earned a berth to the College Football Playoff. Griffin concluded his collegiate career in the NAIA at Vanguard University and played on the Lions’ basketball team in 2017-18.

Bader begins his fifth season as part of the Nets organization and his first as an assistant coach. He spent the last two seasons (2022-24) as the team’s head video coordinator following a two-year stint (2020-22) as a video seasonal assistant. Bader played basketball professionally in the NBA G League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2015) and Austin Spurs (2019) and internationally in France, Lithuania, Italy, Greece and Spain. He also competed in The Basketball Tournament (TBT), an annual winner-take-all single elimination tournament, with Overseas Elite, helping lead the squad to three-straight tournament championships (2015-17). The Okemos, Mich., native spent five years (2009-14) at Oakland University, where he set the then all-time NCAA career record for 3-pointers made (504). His marks currently rank fifth all-time, and he is still just one of five players in NCAA history to make 500 or more 3-pointers in a career.

Hernandez (second season), Caporn (fourth season with the organization and third as an assistant coach), Forehan-Kelly (ninth season with the organization and fifth as an assistant coach) and Vinson (second season) return to Brooklyn’s bench and will join Fernández and the newly appointed assistants to round out Brooklyn’s coaching staff ahead of the 2024-25 season.