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Originally published July 28, 2012 at 01:40p.m., updated July 29, 2012 at 12:08a.m.

Magic hire former KU guard Jacque Vaughn as head coach

Former Orlando Magic point guard Jacque Vaughn (11) drives past Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce (34) in this file photo from Dec. 28, 2002, in Orlando, Fla. The Magic announced Saturday that they have hired Vaughn, a San Antonio assistant coach last season, to fill their head coaching vacancy.

Former Orlando Magic point guard Jacque Vaughn (11) drives past Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce (34) in this file photo from Dec. 28, 2002, in Orlando, Fla. The Magic announced Saturday that they have hired Vaughn, a San Antonio assistant coach last season, to fill their head coaching vacancy.

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— The Magic's latest makeover continues to have a youthful feel.

Orlando announced the hiring of Jacque Vaughn, 37, as its next head coach on Saturday, bringing the latest 30-something member to a basketball operations department following the hiring of 30-year-old general manager Rob Hennigan last month. He will be formally introduced at a news conference Monday.

Vaughn becomes the 10th coach in team history and replaces Stan Van Gundy, who was fired on May 21 despite compiling a 259-135 regular-season record, franchise-best .657 winning percentage and a 31-28 playoff record.

"As we navigated through our coaching search, we quickly saw that Jacque's spirit and leadership strengths made him the clear choice," Hennigan said in a statement. "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."

Hennigan chose Vaughn from a finalists' pool that included Phoenix Suns development coach Lindsey Hunter and former Detroit Pistons head coach and current Philadelphia 76ers assistant Michael Curry.

A 12-year NBA player before retiring in 2009 with San Antonio, Vaughn's career included 80 games for the Magic in 2002-03. The former Kansas Jayhawks standout has never been an NBA head coach. But he has spent the past two seasons as an assistant at San Antonio, where he also won a championship as a player in 2007.

That is important because one of the qualities that both Hennigan and Magic CEO Alex Martins said the team was seeking in a successor to Van Gundy was a championship pedigree.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is one of the league's top coaches and has multiple NBA titles. Vaughn also has played under the likes of Boston coach Doc Rivers, Cleveland coach Byron Scott — both who have titles as coaches or players — and former Utah coach Jerry Sloan.

Even before Vaughn was announced, the potential choice was receiving some criticism after Vaughn moved to a front-runner position.

Former Magic player and current television analyst Shaquille O'Neal posted a scathing assessment of Vaughn likely succeeding Van Gundy, posting on Twitter: "Orlando magic is about to hire jock Vaughn over mike Malone or Brian shaw are u kidding me, wow, good luck winning wit Dat team Dwite Howard."

Malone, Golden State's lead assistant, and Shaw, Indiana's associate head coach, also both received preliminary interviews and like Vaughn are considered in NBA circles to be rising prospects among the assistant coaching ranks.

O'Neal has friendship ties to both having played with Shaw as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He also briefly played under Malone with he was an assistant with the Cavaliers.

That criticism aside, the biggest unknown is what — if anything — Vaughn's hire will do to quell or exacerbate Magic center Dwight Howard's desire to leave town.

Howard reissued his trade demand to Hennigan when the pair met for the first time in Los Angeles last month, singling out the Brooklyn Nets as his desired landing spot.

After recent efforts by Orlando to make that happen fell through, along with possible trades to other teams, Howard has since told Hennigan in another meeting that he has no desire to return to Orlando next season for the final year of his contract.

Martins said following Van Gundy's firing that the team did not want to go through the same whirlwind of uncertainty that Howard's preseason trade demand put it through last season.

But Hennigan said earlier this month that he didn't rule out the possibility of Howard returning to the Magic next season.

Comments

wildjayhawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Jacque will not last a couple of years. He is not qualified to be a NBA head coach. Way overrated.

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Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

Maybe Howard will change his position about a trade now that he's got a Jayhawk manning the helm instead of the "Master of Panic" (Shaq's loving term for SVG).

After all, he's been on record as saying he would have been a Jayhawk if he went to college, and every time he has an ESPN/Sportscenter commercial, there is a Jayhawk included...

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HawkKlaw 1 year, 8 months ago

All this and yet, somehow Shaq still manages to be much more advanced in grammar and basic English than he is at shooting free throws.

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jayhawkinnc 1 year, 8 months ago

Actually, we beat LSU first on their home turf (2nd round of preseason NIT). Then, it was off to NYC for the NIT semis and that's where we beat UNLV 91-77. They had no answer for our offense! 2 nights later, we beat St. John's for the preseason NIT title! We went from being unranked that week to number 4 in the nation just three days later!

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

"Some Tips for Jacque"

➨ Provide players sun glasses to reduce glare from looking at your head during time outs.

→ Wear elevator shoes to look your bigs in the eyes.

➠ Start telling reporters you could take Shaq one on one any time any place.

➲ Tell Dwight he's not going anywhere, because you've got his Tax ID number and you'll tweet it if he leaves.

⇒ Limit Magic players to one visit to Disneyworld a year.

⟾ Tell the new, young GM that hired you, "Thanks, the first ring is for you."

⇰ Require all players to play as hard and smart as you did.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.

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jayhawkinnc 1 year, 8 months ago

"Jacque didn't even play in that game. He must have been in junior high at the time. He didn't come to Kansas until 1993."

Correct. JV was a freshman in High School in the fall of 1989. 4 years away from joining KU. That was a great win for KU when we beat LSU at their place. LSU was a top 5 team at the time as they had Shaq, Stanley Roberts and Chris Jackson (aka Mahmad Abdul-Rauf). That was the start of a very special season in 1989-90 for KU: A 19-0 start and a 30-5 season. Oh, and that great 150-95 blasting of KenSucky!!

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1stnamemistermiddlenameperiod 1 year, 8 months ago

The Vaughn/Haase backcourt had an average GPA in the 3.6-3.8 range. I had a feeling back then that those guys would coach one day. Lo and behold! They both get coaching gigs the same year. I only wish Jacque got his gig first and they were reunited on the same staff. Oh well. I guess Haase spent too much time with the evil empire to get a better gig.

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mikehawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Where do the Magic ownership recruit senior managment? Outside the gates of Magic Kingdom?

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daytonahawk2 1 year, 8 months ago

Now I can go to Magic games and actually root for the team. :-)

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doolindalton 1 year, 8 months ago

Jacque didn't have a chance with Shaq. He is still, no doubt, tinging from KU's 89-83 upset of his LSU team in 1989. Led by Mark Randall's 25 points and Jeff Gueldner's 16, the Jayhawks sent the Tigers down to defeat in the second round of the preseason NIT. Shaq was held to 10 that night.

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/18/sports/college-basketball-kansas-upsets-lsu-to-advance-in-nit.html

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Sam Constance 1 year, 8 months ago

Thanks a lot TNT.

As much as I love(d) the Inside the NBA crew, I don't know if I can ever forgive you guys for enabling Shaq to think his opinion on basketball (outside of how to play center) is worth a crap.

Clearly the Magic are foolish for passing over two guys who have been NBA assistant coaches for 8 (Shaw) and 10 (Malone) years. It's not like any head coaching positions have become available for them in the last decade... oh what's that? There have been almost 30 coaching changes in the NBA since the 2002-03 season?

Maybe, just MAYBE it's possible that some people aren't cut out to be a HEAD coach, but are still excellent assistant coaches. I don't know Jacque Vaughn, but I have spoken to him on a couple of occasions, and I know he's an extremely intelligent guy, so the idea of him being the kind of leader you need in a head coach doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

What is strange is how Shack had such a emotional reaction to the mere possibility that Vaughn could be hired by the Magic. I suppose he has a personal connection to Shaw and Malone--too bad he doesn't have any professionalism or sense of respect.

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Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 8 months ago

Shack bin eatin 2 many big max!! Last solar eclipse was actually Shack hang gliding @ 30K feet!! Troo fact!!

JV was the best, not going to argue with anybody. I'll never forget one time at AFH (VS OSU??) he was bringing the ball up and actually snuck in right behind the opposing center jogging right down the center of the court. Got to the top of the key and popped out of that dude's back pocket and made them look silly!! Priceless JV!!

Rock Chalk, Jacque!!

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g_rock 1 year, 8 months ago

I wish it were a better opportunity for Jacque though. Sinking ship, primadonnas that aren't worth the money and a lackluster fan base. Orlando is a hole.

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CrimsonAndBlueForLife 1 year, 8 months ago

Way to go Jacque! Maybe one day, you can come to Kansas and be our coach!

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Thomas Sr. 1 year, 8 months ago

Shaq has shoes bigger than most small cars and a mouth bigger than his shoes. Hope Jacque makes him stick his feet in his mouth!

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Go Jacque Vaughn.

Now, pull a Lincoln.

Lincoln hired his arch political enemy William Seward for his cabinet, thus coopting Seward into his strategy.

Hire Shaq to be your big man coach.

Make him work for you. Make him an ally.

Shaq is just angry, because he didn't win in Orlando, and he doesn't want anyone else to either. Shaq is also pissy, because he secretly wants to be a coach and no one wants him. He's in the same position Kareem was in.

But Shaq is smart and he's an Army brat, if I recall correctly. A strong highly intelligent person has always been able to manage Shaq and get something good out of him.

Shaq did great for Phil and Riley. He was terrible with lesser coaches and owners. Shaq needs a wily boss.

Jacque Vaughn is plenty wily.

Jacque, you could turn him.

And making an ally of an enemy is as good as destroying an enemy, or so Lincoln said more or less.

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dylans 1 year, 8 months ago

I have dingle berries smarter than shaq.

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milwaukeeJAYHAWK 1 year, 8 months ago

Why u mad, Shakque? Doant yoo lyke Jock Vonn?

Congrats JV! One of my favorite hawks ever! Still have the '95 SI issue with you on the cover framed. Those were halcyon days when you were here.....

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 8 months ago

This will be a good starting job, but this job will be a nightmare. Dwight Howard is good, but not a leader, his back will never be 100%.

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KGphoto 1 year, 8 months ago

Congratulations Jacque! Make The Big Disney eat his words.

You can do three things he could never do.

  1. Coach in the NBA. Done.
  2. Win a ring in Orlando.
  3. Shoot free throws.

And never do one thing he already did. Pink speedo.

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FinalFinal 1 year, 8 months ago

This helps justify his jersey in the rafters? Better than some of them up there for sure now.

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AsadZ 1 year, 8 months ago

Great day to be a Jayhawk. Great hire by Orlando. JV will take them to new magical heights

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Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 8 months ago

Do Shak have onership in the Majik? Why wud he be so angre?

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Michael Pannacciulli 1 year, 8 months ago

GREAT DAY FOR JV AND A GREAT DAY FOR THE JAYHAWK NATION. PROUD OF YOU JV! ANOTHER JAYHAWK SHOWING WHY WE OWN BASKETBALL AT ALL LEVELS!

ROCK CHALK!

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addlime 1 year, 8 months ago

Congrats to JV! What a great team he led back at KU! Unfortunately he is being put into an extremely difficult situation for his first head coaching gig. At least he's not working for MJ.

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