Joe Rogowski, the Orlando Magic’s head strength and conditioning coach, is leaving the team to join the Houston Rockets.
It’s a difficult loss for the Magic, because Rogowski is widely regarded as one of the best strength coaches in the NBA. He’s been especially effective through the years at helping to develop the team’s young players, including Marcin Gortat and J.J. Redick.
Rogowski’s fiancée, Diana Lopez, a bronze medalist for the U.S. in taekwondo at the 2008 Summer Olympics and a member of the 2012 Olympic team, is from the Houston area and lives there now.
Rogowski will remain with the Magic until the end of the Orlando Pro Summer League, which is scheduled to conclude July 12.
His departure comes during an offseason when several of the Magic’s young players, including center Nik Vucevic and power forward Andrew Nicholson, are hoping to improve their explosiveness and quickness.
Many observers are bound to view Rogowski’s hiring by the Rockets as an effort by Houston General Manager Daryl Morey to entice former Magic All-Star Dwight Howard to sign a free-agent deal with the team.
While Howard likes and respects Rogowski, it’s important to note that Howard has his own personal trainer and continued to work with that trainer during the 2012-13 season.
Prior to the 2011-12 season, when he was still a member of the Magic, Howard made a request that his personal strength coach and his personal shooting coach be allowed to work with him at the Magic’s Amway Center practice facility.
Otis Smith, the Magic’s general manager at the time, denied the request because it had the potential to undermine the Magic’s coaching staff if it had been granted.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun