Indiana Pacers: Frank Vogel One Step Closer to Head Coach

No NameAnalyst IJune 2, 2011

It appears that Frank Vogel will soon become the next head coach of the Indiana Pacers.

Vogel met with team president Larry Bird on Wednesday, where he was told that he will have to hire three assistant coaches if he gets the job.

After he finished his meeting with Bird, Vogel notified assistants Jay DeFruscio, Walter McCarty and Vitaly Potapenko of the situation. They will not be back with the Pacers next season. It is expected that longtime assistant Dan Burke will remain with the team.

If Vogel is named the head coach, they will then turn their attention to replacing the three assistant coaches. Two of the most likely candidates right now include former head coach Terry Porter, and Minnesota Timberwolves assistant John-Blair Bickerstaff.

Another likely candidate would be Frank Hamblen, who was a longtime Phil Jackson assistant with the Bulls and Lakers. According to multiple sources, Hamblen would be interested in the job if approached.

The Pacers are now looked at as one of the most improved and up-and-coming young teams in the league. They have more money to spend this summer than anyone, and it looks like Herb Simon might actually spend some of it this year. The past four years or so the organization has been working to get themselves into this position. Now that they are here, it will be interesting to see which route they go.

There had been multiple trade rumors out there involving the Pacers, which is probably the route they are going to have to take, since there aren't any big time free agents this year. They could also move their expiring contracts and/or first round draft choice to make a move. Either way, it looks like there will be some fresh new faces in the form of both players and coaches on the bench next season.

While Bird said last week that he doesn't have a timetable on naming a coach, it appears that he may be close to finally removing the interim tag on Vogel.