The Orlando Magic have fired head coach Jacque Vaughn. The move comes with the team suffering a 10-game losing streak and sitting near the bottom of the Eastern Conference at 15-37. His stint with the franchise ends after less than three seasons and a 58-158 mark.
The team announced the decision Thursday:
The Orlando Magic have relieved Jacque Vaughn from his head coaching duties, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. In addition, James Borrego has been named interim head coach.
'Jacque (Vaughn) has been a trusted friend and colleague,' said Hennigan. 'We thank him immensely for his contributions and sacrifices in bringing our team to this point, and we greatly appreciate his unwavering commitment to our organization. We have tremendous respect for Jacque and certainly wish him the best as he embarks on the next phase of his career.'
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel provided Vaughn's statement following his dismissal:
I would like to thank Mr. DeVos and Family for the opportunity of representing the Orlando Magic as Head Coach. I am a stronger and wiser man and coach because of the opportunity. I look forward to seeing this group continue to grow. God bless, good luck. Jacque Vaughn. Proverbs 3:5-6.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports first passed along word of the coaching change and reported that Borrego will take over in the interim. Borrego is a former member of the San Antonio Spurs staff, having worked as a video coordinator, per Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.
As for a long-term replacement, Wojnarowski reported that Scott Skiles, who played in Orlando from 1989 to 1994, is a potential candidate.
The move doesn't come as much of a surprise. Along with the Magic's struggles, a palpable buzz had been building recently surrounding Vaughn's status.
"We will not settle for this," a high-ranking team source told Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel.
"It isn't a matter of 'if,' anymore, but 'when,'" was the sentiment from another source within the organization, as conveyed to Wojnarowski.
Zach Lowe of Grantland weighed in on the rumors leading up to Vaughn being fired:
Vaughn was previously an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs. That's also where his playing days ended after 12 years and five teams. The point guard certainly gave off the vibe of a future coach in the latter stages of his career.
He inherited an Orlando roster in 2012 that lacked the necessary talent to contend. While that fact continues to hold true, the front office clearly didn't feel the team was making enough progress to warrant keeping Vaughn any longer.
The Magic do have some promising pieces in place. Nikola Vucevic has developed into a solid frontcourt building block. Victor Oladipo is on the rise. Aaron Gordon should slowly grow into a much larger role. And they should add another rising star in this year's draft.
That said, it's going to take a coach who gets the best out of those players for Orlando to turn things around. Playing in the East makes the path to the playoffs a bit easier, but actually contending for a title is a completely different conversation.
The Magic no longer felt Vaughn was the right person to lead the effort.