Magic Name Frank Vogel Head Coach
May 20, 2016
ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic have named Frank Vogel head coach, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Vogel becomes the 13th head coach in franchise history.
During his five-plus seasons as a head coach with Indiana from 2011-16, Vogel, 42, guided the Pacers to the NBA Playoffs five times, two Central Division championships and two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. He has an overall NBA regular season head coaching record of 250-181 (.580). His 250 wins are the most for a Pacers head coach in the team’s NBA history.
“While we were conducting our search, it became very evident that Frank (Vogel) is a terrific fit for our organization,” said Hennigan. “He is a strong, hard-working and experienced leader, who will continue to instill smart, physical, unselfish and defensive-minded basketball in our group. We welcome him into the Magic family, as we move forward in a positive direction.”
“In Frank (Vogel), we feel we have someone with tremendous perseverance, character and great balance,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “He is an effective communicator, who brings a wealth of strategic and postseason experience, and is someone who is incredibly excited to embrace the journey ahead. We are excited to welcome Frank and his wonderful family to our Magic family.”
On Jan. 30, 2011, Vogel took over for Jim O’Brien and led Indiana to a 20-18 record and its first playoff berth in four seasons. After falling to Chicago, the team with the NBA’s best regular season record, during the First Round of the playoffs, 4-1, he had his interim tag removed on July 6, 2011.
During the 2011-12 season, Vogel guided the Pacers to a 42-24 record (.636), the fifth-best record in the NBA, and finished third in voting for NBA Coach of the Year. During the playoffs, the Pacers defeated Orlando during the First Round, 4-1, before falling to eventual NBA Champion Miami in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, 4-2.
In 2012-13, Indiana went 49-32 (.605) and captured the Central Division title for the first time since 2003-04. During the postseason, the Pacers defeated Atlanta (4-2) and New York (4-2) to reach the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost in seven games to Miami, who again went on to win the NBA title.
During the 2013-14 campaign, Indiana spent most of the regular season with the best record in the NBA. The Pacers finished with a regular season record of 56-26 (.683), won their second straight Central Division crown and was the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference during the NBA Playoffs. The 56 wins were the third-most in the franchise’s NBA history. Indiana beat Atlanta (4-3) and Washington (4-2), before losing again to Miami during the Eastern Conference Finals, 4-2. Vogel and his staff also earned coaching honors for the East during the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.
After failing to make the postseason in 2014-15, mostly due to a team ravaged by injuries (including the 76 games missed by NBA All-Star Paul George), Vogel and Indiana rebounded last season and posted a 45-37 record (.549). He was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for the fourth time during his career in April 2016, after the Pacers went 6-1 during the month and secured the seventh seed in the East. Indiana lost to Toronto during the First Round in a tough series that went seven games.
Vogel, who is entering his 20th season in the NBA, began his NBA career as the head video coordinator with Boston under Rick Pitino. He stayed in that role from 1997-2001, before being named an assistant coach with the Celtics under O’Brien. Vogel was also as an assistant coach under O’Brien in Philadelphia in 2004-05 and in Indiana for three-plus seasons (2007-11). He also served as an advanced scout for the Los Angeles Lakers (2005-06) and Washington (2006-07).
Vogel is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in biology. He first attended Juniata College in Huntington, Pa., where he was a three-year starter for the Division III Eagles. While at Juniata, he made a decision that changed his life. An admirer of Pitino, who was the head coach at Kentucky, Vogel wanted to learn about coaching from Pitino. He made numerous requests to get to Kentucky as a walk-on, a student manager, anything. He finally got through to Jim O'Brien, an assistant to Pitino, who saw to it that Vogel became a student manager, even though the Wildcats preferred in-state students for that job. He then transferred to Kentucky, became a student manager and played on the junior varsity team in 1996.
After graduation, Vogel’s work ethic landed him the job as the University of Kentucky's video coordinator. Pitino left Kentucky to become head coach of the Boston Celtics and took Vogel with him as the head video coordinator.
As a youth, Vogel attended basketball camps and encountered an instructor who taught him if he believed in something and put his mind to it, he could accomplish anything. The instructor used spinning a basketball on his finger as an example and then spun it on a toothbrush. Vogel practiced the same trick until he, too, accomplished it and brushed his teeth with the toothbrush while spinning the basketball on the end of it. That skill earned him, as a 13-year-old, a national television appearance on "Late Night With David Letterman" in the Stupid Human Tricks segment. It was forbearer of the perseverance that has made Vogel one of the rising young stars in coaching.
Vogel and his wife, Jenifer, have two daughters, Alexa and Arianna.