The Pacers will bring back head coach Frank Vogel next season, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Vogel has one year remaining on the extension he signed before this season. The Pacers just bowed out of the playoffs after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive year.
Normally, a coach with a 267-167 career record wouldn’t be on the hot seat after losing to the league’s two-time defending champion in six games, but poor play and locker room conflict marked Indiana following the All-Star break. Despite ascending the standings and finishing as the one seed, the team struggled to close the season, and was a game away from elimination at the hands of the eighth-seeded Hawks in the first round. It’s believed that Vogel essentially saved his job by surviving that first round matchup, but there were lingering whispers until now that he could still get replaced.
Vogel received his extension while team president Larry Bird was on a year-long hiatus. The offseason and in-season moves that Bird worked to bolster a roster that pushed Miami to a seventh game in last year’s conference finals didn’t pay off, as the additions of Luis Scola, Evan Turner, and Andrew Bynum didn’t significantly improve the production from Vogel’s rotations, still marked by stagnant offense and stifling defense. While many coaches advancing in the playoffs receive extensions after elimination, it’s a distinct possibility that Vogel will be coaching on a contract year next season, as disappointment is still running high in Indiana.