Pacers Name Frank Vogel As Head Coach

Frank Vogel has been named the Indiana Pacers' head coach.

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Frank Vogel Named Head Coach Of Indiana Pacers

Frank Vogel is now officially the Indiana Pacers head coach, over five months since taking the job over in an interim role following the team's firing of Jim O'Brien.

The Pacers held a press conference Wednesday morning to make the announcement after Vogel led the team to a 20-18 regular season record and spirited first-round playoff exit to the Chicago Bulls this past season -- the Pacers first playoff appearance since 2006.

"We're very happy to have Frank as our coach," Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said in a press release. "As I stated after the season, I was in no hurry regarding the coach, mainly because I knew I had a good candidate in Frank. But we wanted to get through the draft and I wanted to have numerous conversations with Frank about a staff that will cover all areas. I feel strongly he is doing that and this coaching staff, as a whole, will help this franchise continue to move forward."

There was no official announcement of Vogel's staff at the press conference, though him hiring a new crop of assistants was long said to be one of the conditions if he stayed in Indiana. The first new member on Vogel's staff is expected to be former Los Angeles Lakers assistant Brian Shaw as his associate head coach.


Frank Vogel To Be Indiana Pacers Head Coach, Brian Shaw Is Associate Head Coach

The Indiana Pacers will formally introduce Frank Vogel as its new head coach in a press conference Wednesday, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Vogel was widely expected to become the Pacers' full-time coach after guiding them to a 20-18 record and a better-than-expected playoff performance as an interim coach last season, and now, it will be official.

Vogel will be joined on staff by former Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw, according to Stein. Shaw was expected to be the heir apparent to Phil Jackson in Los Angeles, but the Lakers hired former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown instead. Shaw will serve as associate head coach under Vogel, Stein reports.

The deal can get done even during the NBA lockout because coaches are not considered part of the NBA Players' Association. It should make for a pretty odd press conference though, since according to a strict interpretation of the rules, Vogel won't even be allowed to mention his players by name.

For more on Vogel's hiring, visit SB Nation Indiana and Indy Cornrows.


Brian Shaw Under Consideration As Assisitant Coach Behind Frank Vogel With Pacers

Brian Shaw, the snubbed Phil Jackson protegé who was passed over for the coveted L.A. Lakers job last month, will reportedly interview for the job as a top assistant coach behind Frank Vogel with the Indiana Pacers, reports Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. Shaw was essentially pushed out of the Lakers organization upon the team's hire of Mike Brown as its new head coach; Shaw wasn't hired by the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, and isn't considered a finalist for the Toronto Raptors or a legit option for the potentially soon-to-be coachless Minnesota Timberwolves.

Shaw has interviewed for a number of top jobs over the past few years, and was reportedly the clubhouse's choice in L.A. Kobe Bryant still hasn't spoken publicly about the Brown hire, and some attribute that to Bryant feeling that his choice, Shaw, was unfairly looked over.

But that doesn't matter now, with Shaw just looking for a job for next season while other coaching situations play out. The Pacers haven't officially hired Vogel as the full-time permanent head coach; they were said to be looking to ensure they could add a strong bench behind him, given his relative inexperience. Shaw definitely accounts as a strong assistant coach given his work on the Lakers.

For more on the Pacers, visit Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana.


Mike Brown Emerges As Pacers Candidate, But Will Larry Bird Stick Around?

The Indiana Pacers fired head coach Jim O'Brien Sunday after three seasons and change of mediocrity. Frank Vogel, a traveled O'Brien deputy, has been named the interim head coach for the remainder of the season as Indiana, despite losses in seven of its past eight games, sits two games behind the Bobcats for the East's No. 8 seed.

But attention has already turned toward who will run the Pacers next season, and Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown is at the top of the list.

Brown coached the Cavs to the 2007 NBA Finals, and racked up a 272-138 record in five seasons in Cleveland. He also won the 2009 NBA Coach of the Year award. Of course, Brown had LeBron James for his entire C-Town tenure, and there is no King James on the Pacers' roster or in the 2011 NBA Draft. So a stint with Indiana would almost certainly drop Brown's winning percentage.

But as a defensive wizard that had his team near the top of the league in opponent shooting percentage consistently, with time spent working under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, Brown would be a marked improvement over the idea-heavy but less than motivational O'Brien. The Pacers started this season quite strong on defense, but fell off as O'Brien began to bench center Roy Hibbert for long stretches. The Pacers had been among the top-5 in team defense for a spell, but is now No. 8. The Indiana offense, heavy on three-pointers, is ranked No. 24.

Brown's candidacy may be dependent on whether team president Larry Bird sticks around. Bird, whose contract has a team option for 2011-12, told FanHouse's Chris Tomasson last week that he's not sure whether Herb Simon will keep the legend around, and that he's not sure he wants to be back.

"I know the owner wants to sit down and he'll do whatever. He's been very good to me. ... He's a good man, and I told him it's not just me but everybody I got on the basketball side is up (contract-wise after this season). The scouts. The coaches. (General manager David) Morway. Myself. People in my office. And, if he wants to go in a different direction, he can do that." [...]

"It's my 30th year in this league. It's been a great run. I got the best job in the world. There's 30 (top executive jobs with teams) and I got one. ... I have no idea (what will happen with the future). Everybody asks me. I'll wait until after the draft and make a decision. See what my wife (Dinah) wants to do. ... I got to ask my wife. Maybe she wants me to stay home."

It's worth noting that in both Tomasson's piece and during Sunday's press conference announcing the end of O'Brien's tenure, Bird did not sound like a man who was ready to leave the Pacers or the game. But Simon, losing millions of dollars on the time annually, could see a potential NBA lockout as reason enough to clear the decks to avoid paying salary to basketball ops executives and a coach during a season that never begins.


Jim O'Brien Fired By Indiana Pacers; Frank Vogel Named Interim Head Coach

Jim O'Brien has been fired as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers, team president Larry Bird announced on Sunday. Bird confirmed earlier reports of O'Brien's dismissal, explaining he felt a change was needed after the team fell into a slump it couldn't recover from after starting the season 9-7. An 0-4 road trip followed by a loss to the Orlando Magic at home sealed O'Brien's fate.

Bird said it wasn't just the losses that forced his hand, but the way the team lost over its last stretch of games.

"We came home to Orlando, and really, the game was over in the first three minutes," Bird said. "So that's when I really started thinking that we really probably needed to do something. I called Mr. Simon up and he said, 'whatever you want to do' and so, here we are."

Assistant head coach Frank Vogel will take over the head coaching position for the remainder of the year. Vogel has never been a head coach, but has extensive experience as a scout and assistant coach in the NBA.

For more on the Pacers, check out SB Nation's Indy Cornrows.


Report: Pacers Fire Jim O'Brien

For a brief time this season, the Indiana Pacers looked like a team that might make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. But that time his gone, and the Pacers have fired coach Jim O'Brien as a result, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski makes the tweet pretty simple:

The Indiana Pacers have fired coach Jim O'Brien, a league source tells Y! Sports.

The Pacers started the 2010-11 season strong, pushing out to a 9-7 record through the end of November that included wins over the Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers. But since then, the Pacers have cratered, going 8-20 in their last 28 games and losing seven of their last eight.

O'Brien's probably not to blame for all of that — the Pacers' roster isn't exactly stuffed with talent — but he hasn't done very much with that roster, either. He led the Pacers to consecutive 36-46 records in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons before dipping to 32-50 in 2009-10.

There's no word on potential replacements at the moment.

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