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Magic Hire Scott Skiles as Head Coach

The Orlando Magic have hired Scott Skiles to be their next head coach, the team announced Friday afternoon. The deal is for four years:

Skiles, a former Magic player, had emerged as the clear front-runner for the position over the last week after his name had been bandied about earlier in the year when Jacque Vaughn was fired. Ownership has admired Skiles dating back to his playing days in Orlando.

Skiles last coached in the NBA in the 2012-13 season with the Milwaukee Bucks. That was his fifth year with the Bucks, and he re-signed 32 games into the season. Prior to his time in Milwaukee, he also coached the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns.

Skiles is a hard-nosed coach known for his defensive acumen and ability to improve teams early in his tenure. Magic general manager Rob Hennigan gave this statement on the hiring:

“Scott (Skiles) clearly distinguished himself as a tremendous fit,” said Hennigan. “Our young roster will benefit greatly from Scott’s extensive head coaching experience and commitment to teaching smart, physical, unselfish basketball. We believe in Scott’s ability to establish a culture of winning habits and accountability that will help guide our team in a positive direction.”

Skiles is known to wear on his teams, and there’s some negative history with restricted free agent Tobias Harris. The Magic have an impressionable young roster that needs to improve on defense, and Skiles will likely help the team immensely in that area, but the question of shelf life will hang over the team.

Skiles has a 443-433 regular-season coaching record and 18-24 postseason record.

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