Frank Vogel led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals in consecutive seasons and to the second round the year before, and was eventually ousted at the hands of the Miami Heat each time.
“It’s bitterly disappointing to fall short of our goals, and it’s bitterly disappointing to lose to this team three years in a row,” Vogel said following Friday night’s Game 6 loss. “But we’re competing against the Michael Jordan of our era, the Chicago Bulls of our era, and you have to tip your hats to them for the way they played this whole series. And you just have to go into the offseason with the mindset that we’re going to reload, and we have a core, a system, a culture that’s going to give us a chance every year.”
All of that, along with the incredible job he did this season under difficult circumstances, is why the Pacers would be foolish to do anything but bring back Vogel next year.
From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Frank Vogel will return to coach the Indiana Pacers next season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Indiana management has never considered replacing him, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Vogel’s job status had become fodder for debate because of an unsteady late-season slide that extended into the playoffs, but Pacers president Larry Bird and general manager Kevin Pritchard have remained strong believers in him, sources said.
Most of the stories surrounding Vogel’s possible removal as coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports, had been coming from unemployed coaches trying to angle themselves into contention to replace him.
That last part is especially of interest, considering the so-called “whispers” that former Warriors coach Mark Jackson would be linked to the job in Indiana based on his prior relationship with Bird, if the position were to become available.
No matter what the rumors were, retaining Vogel is the wise decision. He overcame a midseason trade that was part of the reason for the team’s second half nose dive, and managed to steer a team with a disappearing Roy Hibbert, an inconsistent Paul George and an out of control Lance Stephenson to within two games of the NBA Finals.