Frank Vogel: What You Don't Know About the Indiana Pacers Head Coach

Matt SchreiberAnalyst IIIMay 27, 2013

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

What you probably do know is that Frank Vogel is the head coach of a rising Indiana Pacers basketball team that is known for its tenacious defense. The Pacers are perhaps the only team in the Eastern Conference that can compete with the Miami Heat in a seven-game playoff series.

Although, there are plenty of things you likely don't know about the 39-year-old head coach from Wildwood Crest, New Jersey

We can start off by talking about Vogel's national television debut, before coaching, more than 25 years ago on "David Letterman." 

Vogel comes on at the age of 13 spinning a basketball on a toothbrush. This is quite impressive. How he transitioned from this crazy talent into what seems to be looking like a successful coaching career in the NBA, is answered in the next 26 years of his life.

According to, as Vogel grew older, he would attend basketball camps and came across an instructor who taught him "if he believed in something and put his mind to it, he could accomplish anything."

Vogel attended Juniata College in Pennsylvania where he played Division III basketball for three years. He then transferred to the University of Kentucky where he played on the junior varsity basketball team and was a student manager for one year.

After graduation from Kentucky with a degree in biology, Vogel became a video coordinator for the Wildcats under head coach Rick Pitino. 

Vogel developed a strong relationship with Pitino, as he soon became his understudy. Pitino took a job as the head coach of the Boston Celtics and took Vogel with him as a video coordinator. He maintained the job for five years before being promoted to assistant coach in 2001 when Jim O'Brien was named the head coach of the Celtics.

After his time in Boston, he would fill the same position in Philadelphia for the 76ers for a season. Then he went on to become a scout for the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2005-2006 season and the Washington Wizards during the 2006-2007 campaign.

Following his time in Washington, Vogel rejoined head coach O'Brien in 2007 as an assistant in Indiana. When O'Brien was let go 44 games into the 2011 season, Vogel took over as the head coach and has held the position since. 

He helped take the Pacers to the postseason that year after the team had not made the playoffs since the 2005-2006 season. His team would lose to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the postseason.

It has been an uphill climb for Vogel and the Pacers ever since. In 2012, his first full season as the Pacers head coach, he took the team to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they would lose to the Miami Heat. During the 2013 campaign, Vogel led his team to a division crown and has them in a battle with the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals where his team trails 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

If you were wondering if Vogel can still spin a basketball on a toothbrush, he's still got it.