Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan officially named Jacque Vaughn as the new head coach for the organization.
"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 played as a point guard in the NBA on five different teams (Utah, Atlanta, Orlando, New Jersey and San Antonio) averaging 4.5 points and 2.5 assists for his 12-year career. During the 2002-03 season, Vaughn played under Doc Rivers’ system with the Magic as a backup point guard.
Rivers himself said that "Vaughn would make a fine head coach", according to John Denton.
While Vaughn didn't boast flashy stats in his professional career, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich expressed his opinion on him as a coach.
"Jacque Vaughn is a star." Popovich said. "You can see the same qualities in him that you saw in Avery [Johnson]." - San Antonio Express-News
Popovich thought of Vaughn as a valuable asset to the Spurs’ organization.
"It was evident everyone on the team looked up to him and respected him, even though he wasn’t the most talented player," Popovich said. "He was always on my list as someone we wanted back when he was done playing."
There are a few obvious connections here in the hiring of Vaughn - Hennigan once worked under former Spurs executive and current GM of the Oklahoma City Thunder Sam Presti.
Fun fact: Presti and Hennigan both attended school at Emerson College in Massachusetts, graduating in 2000 and 2004, respectively.
Although Vaughn served as an assistant coach to San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich for the last two seasons, he also knew Hennigan and Presti when he started playing for the Spurs back in 2006. Once again, more relations and ties involved in the hiring process of Vaughn.
Even the former NBA defensive small forward Bruce Bowen who played with Vaughn during his tenure with the Spurs tweeted about Vaughn becoming the new head coach of the Magic.
"Top to bottom there was a genuine level of respect and everyone just seemed to gravitate toward [Vaughn]." Hennigan said.