Frank Vogel finds his match with the Orlando Magic

May 23, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic Head coach Frank Vogel and general manager Rob Hennigan pose for a photo during the press conference at Amway Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic Head coach Frank Vogel and general manager Rob Hennigan pose for a photo during the press conference at Amway Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Frank Vogel was the most sought-after coach on the current coaching market. The Orlando Magic jumped in late, but it was clear they were the fit for him.

Frank Vogel was on the market for several weeks before the Orlando Magic came calling. Before even the Orlando Magic job was open.

Vogel did not have his contract renewed by the Indiana Pacers following their first round defeat to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Playoffs. It was a season many considered a strong season from the 41-year-old coach. The Pacers felt they needed a change.

There were certainly suitors for Vogel. The phone was ringing plenty. The Memphis Grizzlies tabbed him as a favorite. The New York Knicks interviewed him.

When the Magic job suddenly came open two weeks ago, they were behind on this sought-after coach. Maybe not as behind as they thought.

It was, as Vogel said, a very crazy time. The craziest two weeks of his life as he dealt with the emotions of being let go and preparing for the next step in his career.

From the moment Vogel spoke to Rob Hennigan and the Magic though, it was clear there was a connection. A few hours of conversations later, a quick flight to Grand Rapids, Mich., to meet with the DeVos Family and all of a sudden it was done.

Vogel had found his new home. And it was clear to him Orlando was the best place for him.

“As I went through the process, it became very clear to me very early that this was the perfect place for me to continue my basketball journey,” Vogel said at his introductory press conference Monday. “As I looked at the overall situation, it also became clear it was the right landing spot for my family. We are very excited to be here.”

Orlando had to move quickly as they jumped into the coaching search pool to nab Vogel after Skiles’ surprise resignation.

Really though the selling had been done.

Vogel said the Magic had a strong reputation around the league. He saw what they were doing as rebuilding and saw a team ready to take the next step and win. He saw the group that showed promise throughout the season — beating the Pacers thoroughly in Indianapolis late in the season when the Pacers were playing for everything and the Magic playing for so little.

It was a roster that fit Vogel’s eye and a team with potential he wanted to be a part of.

Vogel said Orlando seemed to tick off every box on his checklist as he looked for a new job.

“Everything about this job was appealing to me,” Vogel said. “Starting with the ownership. The reputation of the DeVos family is as good as it gets.

“I think after that you have to look at the interpersonal communication and relationships that you are going to have with the front office. Rob and I from the minute we picked up the phone with each other, we had a great connection. We have similar leadership styles. We rely on the group to get great input. We know we don’t know it all. We make group decisions and we study and we work. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have a have fun, but work our butts off mindset. The roster was very attractive to me. I really see a lot of similarities to this team that I saw to the team that I took over in Indiana.”

This is a young roster that is still freshly forming and in need of some direction despite the 10-win improvement last year. They have not reached the Playoffs. And Vogel is the kind of coach who has not only won games, but been near the mountaintop with back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances. It was attractive to him to help grow this team like he did with those Pacers squads.

That kind of personal experience was again something the team was looking for, Magic CEO Alex Martins said.

The team believed him when he said this group is ready to take that next step. And believed that experience would be valuable to this young team as they learned to win.

“I think Frank saw through the fact that we have been rebuilding,” Martins said. “It takes some time to do that. But he also recognizes that we have quite a bit of talent on the roster that he is excited about coaching. He feels we can continue to win with, as he said to us, 8-10 years in the very least.”

That is a line the Magic have trotted out numerous times throughout the rebuild. They are looking to build something that is not a flash in the pan for the Playoffs, but can be maintained sustainably.

It is the reason this rebuild has been so patient and seemingly long in its process. The synergy between coach and management would have to be right in line — particularly after rumors of discord led to Skiles’ sudden resignation.

Hennigan said his approach was in line with Vogel’s approach of collaboration and deliberation between coach and front office. The two clicked immediately and it became apparent that the Magic were as much a fit for Vogel as Vogel was a fit for them.

“We feel very very fortunate that a man of Frank’s character and Frank’s coaching caliber happened to be available as we were looking for a new coach,” Hennigan said. “We feel he fits our team to a ‘T.’ We feel the things he is about as a human being fits our organization to a ‘T.’ We feel really really good about the things Frank is going to bring to the community and the organization. Frank’s track record speaks for itself as far as we are concerned. He is someone who has built a team with defense first and foremost and he has shown over the years to mold and cultivate and develop players. Two very important things to us as we started this search.”

It did seem like a perfect match for the Magic and for Vogel. There was a comfort, Vogel said, in coming to a smaller market and looking to help a young team grow.

That will be the real work for Vogel and the Magic. To make all this work and to help this team take its next big step whether through trades or roster moves or whatever the case may be.

Frank Vogel, Orlando Magic
May 23, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel is introduced as the new head coach as he talks with media during a press conference at Amway Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

There is certainly renewed confidence in this team again though.

This was not a matter of simply hiring the best coach available — although that certainly played a role. The Magic targeted Vogel and the two quickly meshed and gelled.

Vogel said as he spoke more and more with the Magic — in the brief time it took to get from interest to hire — it became clear to him this was the perfect fit. It did not take long for Vogel to believe in Magic.

“You basically can check off every box with the pros and cons you are weighing with this job versus other teams,” Vogel said. “I think it is a great, great fit for me.”

Next: Orlando Magic must grow from season of growing pains

And obviously the Magic felt the same way.