Jacque Vaughn Named Orlando Magic Head Coach
Jacque Vaughn, an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, is the new head coach of the Orlando Magic.
Vaughn, who replaces the previously fired Stan Van Gundy, was appointed to the position by Magic GM Rob Hennigan, his former Spurs colleague. He will be formally introduced in a Monday press conference in Orlando.
Vaughn, 37, was a standout college point guard at Kansas who was selected by the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 1997 draft. He played 12 years in the NBA with multiple teams and won a championship ring as a member of the Spurs 2007 squad. After retiring in 2009, he joined the Spurs coaching staff.
According to ESPN, the Magic among other things were apparently looking for a new coach with a “championship pedigree” which Vaughn has on his resume from winning a title as well as playing under title-winning coaches such as Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers. In a statement, GM Hennigan provided the background for the decision:
As we navigated through our coaching search, we quickly saw that Jacque’s spirit and leadership strengths made him the clear choice, We are confident that his diligence, attention to detail and communication style will help establish the bedrock of our culture moving forward. His commitment and passion to building a sustainable program will help steer our organization for years to come.
The Magic also considered Lindsay Hunter and Michael Curry for the job.
In addition to finding a new head coach for Orlando, the Magic have also been dealing with the trade-no trade soap opera involving center Dwight Howard (a.k.a. the “Dwightmare”). Here’s what ESPN’s Skip Bayless tweeted about both:
Jacque Vaughn right choice for Magic coach. Popovich products always a good bet. DHoward might realize his destination should be Orlando.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) July 28, 2012
Shaquille O’Neal had a different opinion on the Vaughn hire in a tweet from a few days ago:
Orlando magic is about to hire jock Vaugh over mike Malone or Brian shaw are u kidding me, wow, good luck winning wit Dat team Dwite howard
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) July 22, 2012
Watch an ESPN report on the hiring of Jacque Vaughn as Orlando Magic head coach: