Frank Vogel was brought to Orlando two years ago with hopes he could get the Magic back to the playoffs, and stop the spinning of the revolving door to their coaches’ office.
Neither of those things happened.
Vogel was fired by the Magic on Thursday about 10 hours after the team wrapped up a 25-57 season, its sixth consecutive losing year. Vogel, who had one year left on his contract, went 54-110 in his two years with Orlando.
The Magic haven’t been to the playoffs since Stan Van Gundy’s final season with the team in 2012. Vogel, who had some very successful years coaching the Indiana Pacers before going to Orlando, simply didn’t have the roster to change that.
“We would like to thank Frank for his contributions to the Orlando Magic,” Magic basketball operations president Jeff Weltman said. “We appreciate the sacrifices he made as head coach and certainly wish him and his family well going forward.”
Vogel told his players after Wednesday’s season-ending win over playoff-bound Washington he was planning to meet with them Thursday. The team had different ideas.
Instead, the team’s first order of business on Day One of the offseason was to dismiss the coach. The firing came even though Vogel saw signs the team was headed in the right direction despite players combining to miss more than 200 games this season because of injury and illness.
“They made the best of a tough situation by playing with great effort, positive energy, enthusiasm, all throughout a difficult season,” Vogel said.
Vogel was the second coach fired Thursday within hours of the regular season ending. The New York Knicks dismissed Jeff Hornacek earlier in the day.
On Wednesday night, Vogel spoke with excitement about continuing to build a winning culture and the possibilities in the upcoming draft.
That will now be someone else’s task.
There’s no shortage of candidates. Jerry Stackhouse is likely to get at least a real chance at an NBA job this offseason, after two very successful years leading Toronto’s G League affiliate. And he and Weltman have history; Weltman came to the Magic as president 11 months ago after serving as the No. 2 in command of basketball operations under Masai Ujiri with the Raptors.
This will be the Magic’s fifth coach in just more than three years. The replacement for Van Gundy was Jacque Vaughn, who was fired in February 2015. Vaughn was followed by interim coach James Borrego (now a San Antonio assistant), then Scott Skiles (who lasted one season), then Vogel.
The Magic weren’t good enough to win under any of them. The team’s best record since Van Gundy left was 35-47 in 2015-16.