- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - It hasn’t been the offseason new Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel was expecting.

Just days after his Indiana Pacers were ousted from the first-round of the NBA playoffs by Toronto, Vogel was informed his contract wasn’t being renewed after five-plus seasons.

But then came the brief unemployment whirlwind.

Vogel’s phone was constantly ringing, leading to talks and interviews with other NBA teams. It finally ended Thursday when he was hired by the Magic, who were unexpectedly in the market for a head coach.

“It’s been a really crazy time, to be honest with you. Probably the craziest two weeks of my life,” Vogel said Monday when he was formally introduced during a news conference. “Just from the emotions of being let go by the Pacers to figuring out what our next step was. The phone was ringing so that was a good thing. It was a good kind of chaos. There was interest, I enjoyed meeting with some of the other teams I met with.

“Ultimately finding this situation here, with everything aligning to the ways and things I was looking for for my family, my career, that part made it a joyful time as opposed to a stressful time.”

Vogel, 42, inherits a team that is among the youngest and most talented in the NBA. The Magic missed the postseason for the fourth straight season after posting a 35-47 season during the only season under Scott Skiles.

Vogel’s task is to finish what Skiles started, which is to build this Magic team into a playoff contender. He has a young core that includes Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic and Mario Hezonja. The Magic also will have plenty of cap room this summer to go free agent shopping.

For Vogel, it presented the best scenario of all of the other available NBA jobs.

“We have a great young core, cap flexibility to add a veteran or two or three,” said Vogel, who was 250-181 with the Pacers. “Our fans here should be really excited and have real reason to believe we are at the beginning what should be a great era of Magic basketball.”

In Vogel, the Magic get a veteran head coach with a proven track record for putting his team into the playoffs. The Pacers made five playoff appearances in the five-plus seasons he was on the job. During that time, Indiana won two Central Division titles and won made two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Magic brass had hoped they could reach similar heights with Skiles at the helm. But Skiles abruptly quick May 12 which sent the franchise scrambling to replace him after one season on the job. It just so happened that Vogel, who has been more successful on the floor than Skiles, was available and already attracting attention.

“No departure is fun, but obviously it’s part of our business,” said Magic CEO Martins. “I’m a firm believer in when one door closes another one opens. Sometimes even a better one opens. We believe that could be the case here. As the door closed on Scott’s short tenure here another door opened to be able to attract a coach of Frank’s caliber and of his success. We believe it opens a door that could be a lot more successful.”

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