Trail Blazers coaching staff includes Bernie Bickerstaff, Buck Williams, Dan Dickau

The Portland Trail Blazers announced today that Head Coach Nate McMillan has finalized his coaching staff for the 2011-12 season by retaining Bernie Bickerstaff, Bob Ociepka, Buck Williams, Kaleb Canales and Dean Cooper, while adding Larry Greer as assistant coach and Dan Dickau as player development assistant.

Greer has spent the past four seasons as an advance scout with the team and Dickau, a former Trail Blazer who played in the NBA for six seasons, begins his first year on the coaching staff.

Bickerstaff returns for his second year in Portland after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant coach with Chicago. Bickerstaff’s 38-year NBA career includes head coaching positions with Seattle (1985-90), Denver (1995-96), Washington (1997-99) and Charlotte (2004-07). He has also served as general manager of the Denver Nuggets (1990-97) and Charlotte Bobcats (2004-07), and as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Bobcats (2007-08).

Ociepka also enters his second season with the Trail Blazers after a two-year stint as an assistant coach in Chicago. With 21 years of NBA experience, Ociepka has spent time as an assistant coach with Minnesota (2006-08), Milwaukee (2003-06), Detroit (1998-99, 2001-03), Cleveland (1999-2001), Philadelphia (1996-97), L.A. Clippers (1993-96) and Indiana (1989-93).

Williams, one of Portland’s most beloved former players, joined the Trail Blazers coaching staff last season. The team’s power forward from 1989-96, Williams helped lead Portland to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992 as Western Conference Champions. Williams is the team’s all-time leader in field goal percentage (55.0%), ranks fourth in rebounds (4,861) and seventh in games played (557).

Canales is set to begin his third year as Trail Blazers assistant coach and eighth overall with the team. He joined the team as a video intern in 2004 and spent the next three seasons as the team’s video coordinator, where he prepared scouting video for coaches. He was promoted to assistant coach/video coordinator in 2008-09. The Laredo, Texas, native guided the Trail Blazers to a 4-1 record as head coach of Portland’s 2010 NBA Summer League entry in Las Vegas.

Greer, entering his first season as assistant coach in 2011-12, joined the Trail Blazers in 2007 as an advance scout. Prior to his time in Portland, Greer served as advance scout for Houston from 2005-07. A graduate of Northeastern University in 1989, Greer spent the first 16 years of his career in college basketball, including assistant coaching roles with Wright State (2003-05) and Boston University (1994-2003).

Cooper will serve as the team’s player development director for a second season in 2011-12. In that role, Cooper works closely with the coaching staff to track each player’s individual development and improvement on the court. Cooper’s 12-year NBA career includes two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2008-10 and nine years in several roles with the Houston Rockets from 1999-2008.

A Portland area native who starred at Prairie High School, Dickau played six seasons in the NBA from 2002-08, including parts of two seasons with the Trail Blazers (2003-04, 2006-07). In his new role as player development assistant, Dickau will work with Cooper on player development, focusing on the team’s point guards. He finished his NBA career with averages of 5.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 300 games (57 starts) with Atlanta, Portland, New Orleans, Dallas, Boston and the L.A. Clippers. A graduate of Gonzaga University, Dickau was selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by Atlanta.

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