Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, is extremely fortunate as he was the right man at the right time, when the Chicago Bulls hired the former Boston Celtics assistant coach to replace Vinny Del Negro two-years ago. Thibodeau inherited a team that was filled with talent and only needed proper direction, which he provided. His first year on the bench, Chicago ended the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the club’s point guard Derrick Rose won the NBA MVP Award and Thibodeau got himself the NBA Coach Of The Year Award. The squad went to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the Miami Heat, but it was far further than anybody outside of the organization thought they would get prior to the start of the campaign.
The Bulls bench boss situation was atypical for most first time head coaches in the Association, especially due to the fact that he came from outside the franchise. Rookie head coaches usually cut their teeth like former Detroit Pistons head coach John Kuester did; taking over a once proud club that had fallen on hard times. Kuester lasted through two frustrating seasons, before he was fired with the team no better than when he took it over. He is back as an assistant with Mike Brown on the Lakers staff, with the possibility that his time on the bench with the Pistons will be his only shot at being a head coach.
Well, as the man sang years ago “Any Lovin Is Good Lovin, So I Take What I Can Get” and most first time head coaches have to settle for less than ideal teams, with the mandate to sink or swim. That may describe the scenario that former San Antonio Spurs assistant Jacque Vaughn has dived into, as the Orlando Magic announced on their team website, that Vaughn has become the team’s new head coach. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, he replaces former head coach Stan Van Gundy and becomes the tenth head coach the team has had since its inception.
The former point guard played 12 seasons in the Association from 1997-2009, winning an NBA Title as a member of the Spurs in 2007. He played for Orlando during the 2002-2003 season and comes back to the team ten years later as their bench boss. Vaughn may find himself attempting to swim in shark infested waters, as the team is currently in a state of flux, with many unresolved situations.
Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan released a statement on the hiring. The new G.M. said “We are beyond excited to name Jacque Vaughn as our head coach. As we navigated through our coaching search, we quickly saw that Jacque’s spirit and leadership strengths made him the clear choice. We are confident that his diligence, attention to detail and communication style will help establish the bedrock of our culture moving forward. His commitment and passion to building a sustainable program will help steer our organization for years to come.”