ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Orlando Magic have reached a deal in principle with Frank Vogel, to become the team’s new head coach, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting.
Vogel, 42, would replace Scott Skiles, who resigned as the team’s coach last week. He fits the profile Magic officials set for Skiles’ successor. "Vogel is defensive-minded and will generate some excitement among Magic fans," said the Orlando Sentinel's Josh Robbins.
Skiles' departure gave Orlando the fourth current coaching opening in the NBA, joining vacancies in Indiana, Memphis and Houston — one of the reasons why the Magic moved so quickly to fill the position. In particular, the Memphis Grizzlies had shown interest in Vogel, Robbins added.
Vogel coached five full seasons as the Indiana Pacers’ head coach. "Every one of those five, they finished no worse than sixth in field; goal percentage defense, no worse than tenth in points allowed per possession," Robbins said.
Skiles was 35-47 this season, his lone year leading the Magic — the team that he spent five seasons with as a player as well. The Magic started 19-13 this season, then after the calendar flipped to 2016 they lost 34 of their final 50 games and missed the playoffs.
Orlando improved its win total by 10 this season compared to its pace from 2014-15. The Magic were 9-6 in November — the team's first winning month in nearly four years — then led the Eastern Conference with a 10-5 record in December. Skiles was the NBA's East coach of the month, and the Magic were squarely in the playoff hunt. And then came a freefall that never really stopped. The Magic finished 11th in the East, nine games out of a playoff spot.
Orlando's next coach will be the team's fourth in the span of four years. Stan Van Gundy was fired in 2012, and he's been followed by Jacque Vaughn, James Borrego on an interim basis to end the 2014-15 season, and then Skiles this season.
The deal with Vogel is expected to be finalized on Friday, Robbins said.
Some information taken from the Associated Press.