A new era in Orlando Magic history is about to begin.
Jamahl Mosley takes over as head coach after the franchise made two playoff appearances in three years under Steve Clifford. Big things aren’t expected from Mosley in his first season, but in Orlando history, some coaches have exceeded expectations.
In a two-part series, we look back on the five best debuts by Magic coaches and the five worst in terms of wins and losses. Interim head coaches will not be included.
We started with the good on Wednesday. Here’s a look at the Orlando coaches who did the worst in their first seasons:
5. Brian Hill
Overview: Brian Hill also appeared in the first part of this series. That’s because he’s had two stints as Orlando head coach. During his first stint, the Magic improved their win total by nine and made the playoffs for the first time. To begin his second, Orlando finished 36-46 for the second straight season. On paper, Orlando had a decent roster as it began the year with Steve Francis, Grant Hill, Hedo Turkoglu and a young Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson. Ultimately, that did not translate to wins.
4. Scott Skiles
Overview: A former guard with the Magic, Scott Skiles returned to Orlando and spent one season as head coach. Skiles’ tenure started with a bang as the Magic raced to a 19-13 start with a promising young roster that included Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris. Over the final 50 games however, the Magic went just 16-34.
3. Frank Vogel
Overview: Now a championship-winning coach, Frank Vogel had a track record of success with the Indiana Pacers, but inherited an Orlando roster that was depleted on draft night. In his first of two seasons with the Magic, Vogel went just 29-53. Early on during his tenure, the Magic played respectably, but went just 14-35 over the final 49 games of the 2016-17 season.
2. Jacque Vaughn
Overview: Another former Orlando guard, Jacque Vaughn returned for his first head coaching job in the NBA. Vaughn took over for a franchise that was in a full-on rebuild and the results suggested as much. After parting with the likes of Dwight Howard, Ryan Anderson and Jason Richardson, the Magic finished with the worst record in the NBA in Vaughn’s first season.
1. Matt Goukas
Overview: Matt Goukas lands first on the list and it’s fitting since he was the franchise’s first head coach. Goukas guided Orlando for its first four years of existence, which included an 18-64 inaugural season. As an expansion franchise, not much was expected of the Magic, but they did split their first 14 games with a roster headlined by Terry Catledge, former All-Star Reggie Theus and Jerry Reynolds. Orlando however, went just 11-57 over the final 68 games.