Frank Vogel Remains Frontrunner for Pacer Head Coach as Other Candidates Find Jobs Elsewhere

Former Pacers Coach Rick Carlisle is an NBA Champion. Former Pacer Mark Jackson is a Warrior. Former Pacers assistant coach Mike Brown is a Laker. Reported 2011-12 Pacers head coach candidate Dwane Casey is a Raptor. Kevin McHale is a Rocket. Lawrence Frank “blew away” the Pistons.

And yet Frank Vogel doesn’t know who his employer will be next year.

Rumored Indiana coaching candidates Rick Adelman and Chuck Person remain available (though the Rifleman is looking elsewhere for a lateral move), but based upon everything we have heard from Mike Wells of the Indy Star and others, it seems as though Vogel will return the Pacers bench next season. The only hurdle to that becoming reality — that we have heard publicly — has been management’s insistence upon Vogel to rounding up an expert staff of assistants for offset his inexperience.

Wells has been reporting this fact frequently, most recently in a Q&A he did for the Star.

Bird’s waiting for Vogel to line up his coaching staff. Bird’s more worried about who the lead assistant will be. He wants somebody who has a lot of NBA experience to help Vogel out coaching wise and in the locker room.

There’s a possibility that the coaching situation could be resolved sometime soon because owner Herb Simon returned to Indianapolis this week and will likely be here through the draft.

Not many people thought the Pacers would still be waiting to name a coach in the second week of June.

On the one hand, it is nice that the Pacers have had the luxury of thoroughly assessing everything surrounding this decision. Bird has long talked about how the opportunity to have so many franchise-renewing decisions this summer — on management, coaching, the draft and free agency — has been three years in the making. Obviously, you don’t want to squander that opportunity. So deliberation and diligence are good things. Perhaps the position still remains vacant because Bird was hoping to get a chance to talk to the one guy he was considering who had so far been unavailable for an interview (Mavs assistant coach Dwane Casey)? Or not. Who knows? If so, it’s moot now because Casey will be head coaching in Toronto.

But on the other hand, it is a little disconcerting that the team has felt so comfortable with the fact that no other team would hire Vogel that they can just sit on their hands this long. What does that say about Frank? Or even if they didn’t think no team would hire Vogel, they at least haven’t seemed particularly concerned with losing out on the chance to get him back on the sidelines.

Or perhaps they are waiting until after the draft to make a decision? Or until after the lockout? I’m not sure why either would be particularly beneficial unless there are fiscal realities that fly over my head. Could be. I’m not that smart.

But at this point, of course Vogel is still the frontrunner.

No one else is left.

Tags: Chuck Person Dwane Casey Frank Vogel Lawrence Frank Mark Jackson Mike Brown Rick Adelman Rick Carlisle

  • @Pacers_Chants

    When Larry Bird returned as president, he said Frank Vogel would get the first interview and the last interview. Of course, that left everyone with the impression that there would be, oh, I don’t know, other interviews. Of other candidates.

    The season ended April 26. Today is June 19.

    We have yet to see another coach formally cross-examined or courted or linked to the Indiana job. If Bird has brought anyone in, called anyone on the phone, that intelligence has escaped the news media, a near mission impossible in this day and age.

    So we must ask, Where…Are…The…Interviews?

    It’s one thing for the Pacers to bring Vogel back, and live through all of his lumps as he learns on the job with a team that is still trying to find out how to win.

    It’s quite another for Indiana to retain his services without even giving a fair hearing to this crowded field of attractive head coaching names.

    There’s no harm in talking to people, even if Bird and company are dead set on Vogel.

    Because if they hire Vogel without ever taking anyone else seriously, and the NBA’s youngest coach has a short and unsuccessful tenure, Bird will deservedly get raked over the coals.

    If ownership and the front office are committed to doing everything possible to improve the Pacers, then Larry will schedule sit-downs this week with Rick Adelman and Lawrence Frank.

    Or anyone else with a pulse.


  • Tad

    What are we waiting for? If the Pacers had somebody else in mind, shouldn’t he have been interviewed by now? If you’re going with Frank Vogel, make the announcement and get it over with already.

  • JV

    It hasn’t been reported yet, but the Pacers have agreed with terms with Lakers’ associate head coach Brian Shaw to hold the same position with the Pacers, which means its Vogel’s job. This also confirms that Bird’s plan was to surround Vogel with proven assistants with a lot of playoff and in Shaw’s case, championship experience. After all, Shaw did learn from the best coach ever.