The Miami HEAT announced today that they have hired David Fizdale as an assistant coach, returning the Los Angeles native to where he began his NBA career. Fizdale, who has served as an assistant coach for the past five seasons in Golden State and Atlanta, began his professional career assisting in the HEAT’s video room during the 1997-98 season. Among his responsibilities in his new role he will be assisting in the areas of player development, scouting, game preparation and other duties assigned by Head Coach Erik Spolestra.

“We’re excited to welcome David back to the HEAT organization,” said Spoelstra. “He has proven to be a great teacher and has helped developed a number of young players in his 10 years of coaching on the professional and collegiate level. Additionally, his belief and familiarity with our culture is an added bonus.”

The 34-year old Fizdale returns to Miami after spending the past four seasons (2004-08) as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks where he played an instrumental role in the development of their young players. He helped the Hawks increase their win total in each of the past three seasons and this year earn the franchise’s first postseason appearance since 1999, before being eliminated in seven games in the opening round by the eventual Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics. He began his NBA coaching career as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors for one season (2003-04).

Directly before joining the Warriors, Fizdale worked as an assistant coach for one season at Fresno State University (2002-03) where his responsibilities included player development and serving as the school’s recruiting coordinator. After concluding his collegiate playing career and spending one year as the HEAT’s video intern in 1997-98, he began his coaching career with a four-year stint (1998-2002) as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of San Diego.