Frank Vogel led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals in consecutive seasons, but after his team suffered a post-All-Star game slump amid struggles from core players like Roy Hibbert and Paul George, there were reports that he would be “coaching for his job” as Indiana was set to enter the postseason.
The Pacers regrouped in time to come within two games of the NBA Finals, and looking back on it now, Vogel probably got the most out of that group, especially during its run through the playoffs.
Vogel was immediately told he’d be brought back for the final year of his contract once Indiana was eliminated, but with this being the final year of his deal (and with the team now expected to struggle with the loss of key players like Paul George and Lance Stephenson), he’d be working under a “lame duck” status that would come with it an unnecessary share of external pressure.
The team alleviated that concern on Wednesday by announcing it had signed Vogel to a multi-year contract extension.
From the official release:
“We’re very happy to extend Frank’s contract,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “I believe he has done a great job and I look forward to continuing our relationship and working together to achieve all of our goals.”
“I’m excited for the opportunity to continue my tenure as Pacers’ coach,” said Vogel. “It’s an honor to represent this franchise and lead this team. I look forward to the challenge ahead. I’m grateful to have had good, coachable teams along with coaching staffs that have been second to none.”
Vogel has amassed a record of 147-82 over his three full seasons as Indiana’s head coach, and the decision to extend him was a wise one by Pacers’ brass.
It will be a real challenge for Indiana to make the playoffs this season after losing its two best offensive playmakers from a team that wasn’t very good at all on that end of the floor a season ago. The Pacers were one of the league’s top defensive teams, however, so if Vogel can continue to inspire effort out of his guys on that end of the floor, they may be able to surprise some teams as the season progresses.