Jacque Vaughn leaves Spurs to become Orlando Magic Head Coach
Jacque Vaughn has been an intriguing member of the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff since his arrival in 2010. Mike Budenholzer has long been thought of as the Spurs’ Head-Coach-in-waiting, despite having been linked with several other open head coaching positions the last couple of years. While not having near the track record of Budenholzer, Vaughn has been praised repeatedly by Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich, calling Vaughn a “star” on two separate occasions. And now, despite just two years of coaching experience, Jacque Vaughn is leaving the Spurs to become the Head Coach of the Orlando Magic.
Now we will get a better idea of what Coach Pop saw in Vaughn. The Magic fired Stan Van Gundy back in May and are passing along an unhappy Dwight Howard to Vaughn. Howard has requested to be traded and is in the final year of his contract with Orlando. I doubt Vaughn, likely to be considered a “player’s coach,” can convince Howard to re-sign with Orlando, I wouldn’t put it past him to keep Howard content in the interim while trade scenarios are worked out.
For the Spurs, it’s interesting with as many players as they’ve brought back from last year’s team that lost in the Western Conference Finals, they’ve already given up two coaches and one front office man. It’s no secret that with success in the NBA, your coaching and front office staffs are destined to be stripped by opposing teams. Usually, though, teams enter new seasons with more turnover on the court than off of it. How this will affect San Antonio’s continuity heading into next season is something to keep an eye on in the first month or so of the new schedule. Traditionally, the NBA is a player’s league and these coaching changes will have little effect on the on-court product, but it’s interesting to note that there are several rather large changes going on behind the scenes.