Demoupoulos was a Seattle assistant for four seasons

Updated: July 21, 2005, 9:09 PM ET
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Nate McMillan has chosen a familiar face to be his lead assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Dean Demopoulos, who served as a McMillan assistant for four years with the Seattle SuperSonics, was added to the Portland staff on Thursday.

"He is a very good coach and teacher and I believe he will be a great fit here as we try to build our program," McMillan said in a statement. "His ability to mentor younger players will be a great asset given the youth of our team."

The Trail Blazers are trying to rebuild around what is expected to be the youngest team in the league, with an average age of 23½. Portland has drafted high school players in the first round of the draft the past three years with Travis Outlaw, Sebastian Telfair and Martell Webster, the Blazers' first pick this year.

"Nate is a great coach to work with and I am very impressed with the clear direction the franchise is headed," Demopoulos said. "It is a young group of players and I am anxious to get out on the floor and work on getting better each and every day."

Demopoulos joined the Sonics after one season as head coach of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he led the Kangaroos to a 14-16 record.

Before that, Demopoulos spent 17 years at Temple and was credited with helping recruit top players for coach John Chaney's program.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press