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Rockets coaching search broadens

Bickerstaff no longer a candidate

(Getty Images)

HOUSTON – The Houston Rockets plan to search far and wide for their next head coach and after the first few interviews, one coach is no longer a candidate.

KRPC sports has confirmed J.B. Bickerstaff, who served as interim head coach over the final 71 games of the season, met with the team on Wednesday about the permanent position and following their discussion, he informed the team he is withdrawing his name from consideration.

Yahoo Sports first reported the meeting with Bickerstaff and his subsequent withdrawal from consideration. 

The report also stated that assistant coach Chris Finch interviewed for the position along with current Clippers assistant and former Rockets player Sam Cassell. 

ESPN reported that Sixers associate head coach Mike D'Antoni also met with the Rockets on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, the Pacers fired head coach Frank Vogel, who could be another strong candidate for the Rockets position. 

Vogel spent six years as Pacers head coach going 250-181 and leading the Pacers to five playoff appearances and two trips to the eastern conference finals. 

When the Rockets were looking for a new head coach following their dismissal of Rick Adelman after the 2010-11 season, Vogel, who was the Pacers interim head coach at the time, met with the Rockets about the head coaching position.

Vogel was an assistant coach in Boston for three seasons from 2001-2004, while current Rockets general manager Daryl Morey worked in the Celtics front office. 

Reportedly, the Rockets are expected to pursue interviews with at least two other former NBA head coaches in Jeff Van Gundy and Jeff Hornacek.