- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Pacers are sticking with the coach who got them to the playoffs.

A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Indiana will make interim coach Frank Vogel the team’s permanent head coach.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move had not been made official yet by the team.

The Indiana Pacers did announce they had a news conference with Vogel scheduled for Wednesday. He will be joined by Larry Bird, the Pacers‘ president of basketball operations.

Bird called Vogel the favorite to get the job from the beginning of the search after the Pacers finished strong last season and made the playoffs.

Indiana was interested in Mike Brown, but the former Pacers assistant and Cleveland head coach took the top job with the Lakers.

Vogel took over for Jim O’Brien in the middle of last season and the team finished the year 20-18. The Pacers made the playoffs for the first time since 2006, losing in five games to top-seeded Chicago.

Early in his tenure, Vogel said Eastern Conference powers Boston, Miami and Orlando wouldn’t want to play the Pacers when _ not if _ they made the playoffs. He introduced “smashmouth” ball, an approach that focused on attacking the basket instead of O’Brien’s perimeter-oriented game.

He moved Tyler Hansbrough and Paul George into the starting lineup and helped restore center Roy Hibbert’s confidence.

The team has plenty of young talent, playoff experience and significant salary cap space, should the labor situation get sorted out.

Danny Granger, at 28, is the oldest starter. Hibbert just finished his third year, point guard Darren Collison and Hansbrough were second-year players and George was a rookie. All five are under contract for next season.

“I’ll be happy if Frank gets picked,” Hibbert said recently. “I’ve been with him since I was a rookie, so I hope he gets it.”

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