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Report: Frank Vogel to return as Pacers head coach

May 31, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 4 Getty Images

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.

  1. pantsfreezone - May 31, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    Stand pat, Indiana. I enjoy watching the annual “Heat end your season” parties too much for you to give up now.

    • hehateme2 - May 31, 2014 at 11:21 PM

      Good! He can lose to the HEAT AGAIN next season. Not 1, not 2, not 3….

  2. jpstyles314 - May 31, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Why do people want the coaches fired? smh

  3. sportsfan18 - May 31, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    Just like the intro said, his job is safe next season, as it should be…

  4. cruzan80 - May 31, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    “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.”

    This comment baffles me. Isn’t it the coaches job to make sure their best post player is an impact player & wont “disappear”? Isn’t consistency by the team & its best player a direct reflection of the coach? Isn’t it the coaches job to keep the players under control???

    If all these things happened under his watch & he’s not responsible for any of it….who is???

    • quancao - May 31, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      Vogel is the reason Pacers are steeped in mediocrity. He has all the elements to make this a great team. He failed. Now they are coming apart as a team, and to blame the players is a joke.

  5. zoomy123 - May 31, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Something is fundamentally wrong with the Indiana Pacers’ team, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I don’t think the problem is Vogel, however. But on the offensive end there is clearly a lack of cohesion disproportionate with their talent. Paul George and Lance Stephenson are dynamic offensive players and yet the off ball movement between them is awful. Really baffling…

    • cruzan80 - May 31, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      “on the offensive end there is clearly a lack of cohesion disproportionate with their talent. Paul George and Lance Stephenson are dynamic offensive players and yet the off ball movement between them is awful.”

      The RIGHT coach would fix all those issues….

    • sportsfan18 - May 31, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      you’re exactly right… Vogel is NOT the problem…

      I’m an Indiana boy born and raised and went to IU for college. I root for the Pacers…

      BUT, they are mentally weak…

      Physically they are fast, strong, can jump and do everything necessary on the court…

      But, they are not mentally strong…

      Now, the Spurs ARE a great team but my point is that a good TEAM can beat a group of great athletes that aren’t a team.

      The Pacers are great athletes and a pretty good team but they just don’t have it upstairs…

      They have a lot of guys signed for next year, they’re already over the cap for next season and will be two seasons from now too I’m sure…

      I don’t think they need to blow up the roster and start over.

      They need 2 or 3 solid players to come in and offer leadership, high basketball IQ’s, strong character and be mentally STRONG…

      I think Bird needs to go get Paul Pierce. Yes, Paul has slowed down a good bit. He doesn’t need to start. Paul said he wants to play one or two more years.

      Paul has the experience, the temperament, basketball IQ to go along with being mentally strong…

      He’s been through it all, he isn’t 23 or 25 yrs old.

      Get 2 to 3 players like this to add to what the Pacers currently have and they would be much better…

      In an article several weeks back the Heat talked about Ray Allen and what he brought to the team.

      They call Ray the “committee” even though he’s only one man. When there are arguments or things that need to be settled in the locker room, the players take it to the “Committee” and what Ray says it how it gets handled…

      I could see Paul doing that for the Pacers next season.

      It would be tough for any coach to coach a bunch of whiny, immature, mentally weak knuckle heads…

      Roster construction is crucial. yes, need a good big, a wing, a PG, outside shooting etc… but you also need a good balance of savvy veterans with know how and leadership.

      THAT is what the Pacers are missing. When things began to go wrong, there was no player who could step up and right the ship. Yes, the coach can and does talk to them but players need other players to step in and the Pacers had NO ONE in that role on their team…

      Mr. Bird, please go sign Paul Pierce… a fellow Celtic like you. You offer Paul a chance at the Finals at least.

    • ProBasketballPundit - May 31, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      I believe The Disease of Me happened to the Pacers. It’s a term Pat Riley used to describe championship caliber teams that achieve some success and quickly fall apart the following seasons. It’s when the players become bigger than the team like how Paul George thought he was an MVP candidate and Lance thought he was an all star and Hibbert thought he was DPOY… they all started playing for themselves instead of the team. They bought into the hype they created by pushing Miami to a game 7 last year.

    • xonxrocket - May 31, 2014 at 8:41 PM

      The Pacers should bring back Granger. He isn’t the same player he was 4 years ago but he was the glue that held this team together. Once he was gone the team just fell apart.

  6. jzone954 - May 31, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Good for him. Hate to see anyone loose their job. They had a really good season and they ran Into a team they can’t beat. But Frank, trying to call out Miami 3 years ago for whatever reason, having Granger try to get Lebron to flip, having West try to fight Rio last year , and now this season with Lance…..maybe you should stop

  7. prareedoggin - May 31, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    I can somewhat relate to what the pacers are going thru losing to the heat 3 yrs in a row but I think when it happened to me it hurt more. I remember losing to the Knicks by 1 point in the final game of a playoff series TWO years in a row. 1 POINT!!! It absolutely killed me and I still hate the Knicks because of it. So I can imagine how much they hate us. At least the Heat Knicks back then were close scores on close out games. I still can picture van gundy grasping Alonzo’s leg aas he tried to fight LJ and the Knicks

  8. mcjon22 - May 31, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    IMO, unless they do something drastic to bring in another piece, this was their shot. Chicago will get D Rose back and is looking to add another piece, the Wizards will only get better and continue to develop, the Knicks SHOULD get better with Phil at the helm (as long as Melo re-signs). The Pacers? What can they do to improve? How is this team going to be any different from the one that collapsed the last 2 months of the season and was taken to 7 games by a poor Hawks team?

    I don’t see them improving enough to realistically make it past Miami

  9. dolphindubs - May 31, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    @prareedoggin

    Oh man, I still have nightmares about that damn Allen Houston buzzer-beater. The Heat losing that opening round series to the friggin Knicks on a last second shot ruined my whole damn summer.

  10. 22yearsagotoday - May 31, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Larry Legend’s loyal. Pacers are certainly a young team with room to grow. Maybe they will stick with their entire team. We shall soon, see.

  11. antistratfordian - May 31, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Interesting. On one end I’m impressed with Bird’s patience. On the other, I can see Vogel being fired during the season next year if they don’t get off to a decent start.

    Erik Spoelstra gave Vogel a very strong endorsement yesterday after the game, and Spo is my man… so I will defer to him on this, for the time being.

  12. papichulo55 - May 31, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    Good decision by a Front Office that knows the game. Now, go get Coach Vogel a PG. Lowry? And wait for the Luxury Tax, age and boredom to help you get past the Heat.

  13. campcouch - May 31, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    Remember when Isiah Thomas coached the Pacers. That’s a long evolution to now.

  14. drunkenjunk - May 31, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    He didn’t deserve to lose his job for losing to the Heat. There is no shame in losing to the eventual champs. Vogel should lose his job because something happened to this team towards the end of the season and they fractured. I think bringing in a new coach could of stabilized things.

    • crush22 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      Eventual champs? HA!
      Spurs in 5.

  15. dbfan4ever - May 31, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    Boo! Vogel needs to go! The way the Pacers fell apart at the end of the season is the evidence that he can’t coach!

  16. moppop - May 31, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    All this means is either Hibbert or Stephenson are gone. It’s clear that Vogel has ZERO CONTROL over these guys. One’s an emotional mental midget and the other probably should considered clinically insane.

  17. metalhead65 - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    well that is good news for pacers fan as they can look forward to losing in the eastern finals again. the guy has become the same stubborn defense only and run these 2 plays on offense as the guy he replaced as pacers coach. this team lost not because of a trade that sent a player who was not helping the team on the court but because he refused to adapt and make changes to fit the personal he had. they signed copeland to be the shooter off the bench they needed then never played him. they got turner who was also a scorer and again never used him. it was not his fault that his players were a bunch of immature babies who collapsed because they got rid of the the most expensive babysitter in sports in granger but everything is is his fault.

  18. wallabear - Jun 1, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Larry Bird should coach this team, but he is afraid to fail, and prefers to pretend that he is a success like Pat Riley lol Bird (as coach): 0 rings; Riley (as coach): Five (5) rings (wink!)

  19. onlyavoice - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    You all do know that Bird is an alcoholic.
    I was shocked when they wanted him back, still am.

    • crush22 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      When was the last time you and Larry had a drink together? You seem to know a lot about him.

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