On the 13th May, after reports starting circling days prior, the Los Angeles Lakers officially announced the signing of Frank Vogel as the franchise’s 27th head coach. Although the terms were not announced, it is believed that Vogel has signed a 3-year deal.
“We are excited to add Frank Vogel as the next head coach of the Lakers. Coach Vogel has a proven track record of success in the NBA Playoffs, and he reflects the core qualities we were looking for in a head coach – including, detailed game preparation, extreme hard work, and holding players accountable to the highest basketball standards.”Rob Pelinka
“I am very excited for this opportunity to join the Lakers, a prestigious organization that I have long admired. I look forward to coaching such phenomenal talent and bringing my strategic vision to the team.”Frank Vogel
After his graduation from Kentucky in 1998, Frank Vogel’s career began with the Boston Celtics where he served as a head video coordinator under head coach Rick Pinto, of whom he worked under at Kentucky. In 2001, Vogel was promoted to an assistant coaching role, a role he held for 3 years before joining the Philadelphia 76ers, as an assistant also.
Between 2005 and 2007, Vogel did hold two ‘advance scout’ roles. With the Lakers between 2005-2006 and with the Washington Wizards between 2006-2007. From here, he then landed another assistant coaching position, this time with the Indiana Pacers.
In 2011, Vogel found himself as the interim head coach of the Pacers, mid-season. He guided the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2006, with a 20-18 record, but lost in the first round. Shortly after, he was officially named as the Pacers’ head coach. In his first full season in charge (2011/12), Vogel led the team to a 42-24 record and to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, where they fell to LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
Vogel took the success of the team a step further, making the Eastern Conference Finals for the following two seasons (2012/13 and 2013/14), with 49-32 and 56-26 records, respectively. On both occasions, the Pacers lost to a LeBron James-led Miami Heat. Off the back of such success, Vogel signed a two-year extension. However, the following campaign saw Paul George miss the majority of the season due to injury, which lead to the Pacers missing the playoffs based on a tiebreaker with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Pacers did return to the playoffs in the 2015/16 season, with a retooled roster, but fell first time out to the Toronto Raptors in seven games. Following the season Vogel’s contract was not renewed. He did depart the franchise holding their record for all-time NBA wins.
Frank Vogel did endure a short tenure with the Orlando Magic between 2016 and 2018. This proved to be unsuccessful as Vogel could only post season records of 29-53 and 25-57. This leads up to present time, as Vogel was not employed in a coaching capacity for the 2018/19 season.
Over 8 seasons, Vogel has a regular season record of 304-291 (.511) and a playoff record of 31-30 (.508). His hiring will provide a defensive boost to a team that underwhelmed defensively last season. Vogel’s Indiana Pacers team led the league in defensive efficiency twice and were consistently in the top-10 during his five-and-a-half seasons there.
Historically, Vogel’s teams have struggled offensively but if the front office surround LeBron James with more 3-point threats, Vogel can look to structure a space-and-pace system which may work well.
A worrying factor is that Vogel is coming off a 54-110 tenancy with the Orlando Magic, before being relieved of his duties. His time in Orlando was deemed a disaster and his reputation certainly took a hit. There were probably many factors that contributed to his failure however, the fit obviously didn’t work, the franchise was among a rebuild, as well as questionable personnel moves.
It was a chaotic, puzzling process that lead to Frank Vogel’s hiring, although it is a fresh start following Luke Walton and his questionable decision making. Vogel obviously possess proven quality and has experienced success in the NBA. Laker fans are best off getting behind their man until he gives them a reason not to. We wish you the best of luck, coach Vogel!
By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)