Magic finally get a coach
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – The Orlando Magic named Stan Van Gundy their
new head coach on Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Van Gundy takes the reins in Orlando after a bizarre week-long flirtation with
Billy Donovan, the University of Florida mentor.
Donovan signed a lucrative five-year deal to coach the Magic on Friday of
last week, but almost immediately regretted the decision and spent the next
several days trying to get out of the contract.
The Magic finally let Donovan out of the deal on Wednesday and quickly set
their sights on Van Gundy.
Van Gundy served as head coach of the Miami Heat for two-plus seasons from
2003-05 and recorded a regular-season mark of 112-73 and a postseason record
of 17-11. His .605 regular season and .607 playoff winning percentages are
both tops in franchise history.
“Stan enjoyed tremendous success during his tenure with the Heat,” said Magic
general manager Otis Smith. “He has a great basketball mind, tremendous
respect around the league and will get the most out of our players. Stan was
sought-after by many teams this summer and we feel very proud to welcome him
to the Magic family.”
The Sacramento Kings were also interested in Van Gundy’s services.
Overall Van Gundy spent 12 years with the Heat, arriving prior to the 1995-96
campaign and served as assistant coach under Pat Riley for two seasons. He was
elevated to assistant head coach in 1997, a position he held for six seasons.
Van Gundy was the team’s lead assistant until being named head coach in
October of 2003. He resigned as head coach on December 12, 2005 when Riley
took back the top sot.
Van Gundy painted his departure as a chance to spend more time with his family
but many reports had Riley forcing Van Gundy out. He did remain with the Heat
as a scout and a consultant, however.
Prior to his tenure with Miami, Van Gundy coached at the University of
Wisconsin for three seasons and was head coach in 1994-95.
Van Gundy replaces Brian Hill, who was fired on May 23 after two consecutive
losing seasons and a sweep at the hands of the Detroit Pistons in the first
round of the playoffs this season.