As the new general manager of the Orlando Magic, Rob Hennigan has his work cut out for him. In fact, hiring a head coach seems to be the least of his worries in his first few months on the job after having to handle an entire NBA Draft on the fly while dealing with the Dwight Howard fiasco played out in the media day after day. However, Hennigan finally found his man in former Kansas Jayhawks star Jacque Vaughn.
Vaughn enjoyed a long career in the NBA from 1997 until 2009, playing for the Magic for one full season in 2002-03. Vaughn retired as a player from the San Antonio Spurs in '09 and then joined the team as an assistant coach thereafter. His ascension to head coach is a short one, showing just how smart he was as a player and how strong the coaching tree from the Spurs has become.
"Throughout the process we wanted to find someone who embodied the type of culture that we're trying to build here. Jacque's presence, his intelligence level, his commitment to preparation and being detail-oriented in everything that he does impressed us,'' Hennigan said. "He's committed to player development and I think his communication style is one that will work well with our players.
Vaughn is certainly young enough to connect on a different level than other coaches, and it will be interesting to see how Vaughn responds when things become tough. The Magic, after all, will continue to deal with the frustration of having Howard trade talks persist. Perhaps they have just the man who can handle it in Vaughn.