Erik Spoelstra has always been confident that longtime Miami Heat assistant and friend David Fizdale would get a chance to be a head coach one day.
It appears that day has come. According to Yahoo!’s The Vertical, the Memphis Grizzlies offered their vacant head coaching job to Fizdale on Wednesday, and both sides were working on a contract.
Fizdale, who turns 42 on June 6, has served as the Heat’s assistant head coach for the past two seasons and has been on the Heat’s bench since the 2008-09 season.
He first spoke with the Grizzlies about the vacancy two weeks ago when the Heat was still in the playoffs. Last week, after the Heat was eliminated by the Toronto Raptors, Spoelstra said he was preparing Fizdale for his interview. Memphis then called back this week to interview Fizdale a second time.
Fizdale began his career, like Spoelstra, in the Heat’s video room back in the 1997-98 season. After coaching stints at his alma mater, the University of San Diego (1998-2002), and with the Golden State Warriors (2003-04) and Atlanta Hawks (2004-08), he returned to Miami to serve as an assistant under Spoelstra. He coached the Heat’s Summer League teams in 2010 and 2012.
His departure could mean Spoelstra turns to Dan Craig to serve as his lead assistant. Craig spent 12 years as a Heat assistant before leading the Heat’s D-League team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, to the league title last month and being named the league’s coach of the year.
Miami also has Juwan Howard and Keith Smart on staff. Chris Quinn serves as the assistant coach for player development.