The Orlando Magic have hired former fan favorite Scott Skiles as its new coach, the team announced Friday (May 29).
“Scott brings a great skill set to our organization … I can go on and on [about] his ability to teach, to inspire is something Scott excels at and is what our team needs at this point,” general manager Rob Hennigan said during a new conference. “We found our guy. We found the right guy, and we’re enthusiastic about it. And we’ll leave it at that.”
Skiles joined the Magic during the team’s inaugural season in 1989-90 and played five seasons in Orlando during his 10-year playing career.
Despite his history with the franchise, he says the team’s interest in him is credited to his ability as a coach and not because of his past ties with the team.
“They made it clear to me that this was Rob’s call,” Skiles said of the hiring process. “I’m here because I was a basketball coach and not just because I played for the Magic. That was important to me.”
Skiles has a 443-433 coaching record — his best season being with the Suns in 2000-01, when they went 51-31. He also helped the Bulls improve from 23 wins in 2003-04 to 47 victories in his first full season in Chicago… and went on to guide the team to three consecutive playoff appearances.