Scott Skiles named head coach of Orlando Magic

May 29, 2015

The Orlando Magic brought back one of their former players to once again lead the franchise, as General Manager Rob Hennigan announced that Scott Skiles has been hired to be the team's next head.  Skiles becomes the 12th head coach in franchise history.

“Scott 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, 51, has an overall NBA regular season record of 443-433 (.506) as head coach with Phoenix, Chicago, and Milwaukee.  During his 13 seasons as a head coach, his teams have reached the NBA Playoffs six times.  

Skiles is known for his intensity in a coaching career that began in 1996-97 when he served as head coach of PAOK in Greece.

He was hired as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns in 1997 and served in that capacity for two-plus seasons, before taking over for Danny Ainge 20 games into the 1999-2000 campaign.  Skiles guided the Suns to a 40-22 mark the remainder of the season and his team went on to upset the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs during the first round of the 2000 NBA Playoffs.  In 2000-01, he guided the Suns to a 51-31 record and again reached the postseason.

On November 28, 2003, Skiles was hired as head coach of the Chicago Bulls, inheriting a 4-12 team. Following that, he went on to guide the Bulls to three consecutive .500-or-better seasons (an average of 45.7 wins per season) and three straight playoff appearances, which ended a six-year postseason drought for Chicago.

Skiles later was named head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, and in 2008-09, he led the Bucks to an eight-game improvement.  In 2009-10, Milwaukee improved by 12 games, posting a 46-36 mark and earned a playoff berth.

As a player, Skiles appeared in 600 career NBA games (371 starts) during ten seasons with Milwaukee, Indiana, Orlando, Washington, and Philadelphia, averaging 11.1 ppg., 6.5 apg. and 2.5 rpg. in 28.0 minpg.  He also shot .889 (1,548-1,741) from the free throw line during his career, which ranks as the eighth-best in NBA history.

Skiles was an original member of the Magic and played in 384 games (285 starts) during five seasons with Orlando from 1989-94.  He averaged 12.9 ppg., 7.2 apg. and 2.9 rpg. in 31.1 minpg., while shooting .380 (384-1,010) from three-point range and .892 (1,176-1,319) from the free throw line with the Magic.

On December 30, 1990 vs. Denver, Skiles set a team-record and NBA single-game record when he dished out 30 assists.  His record still stands to this day.  He was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player following the 1990-91 campaign, when he averaged a career-high 17.2 ppg. and 8.4 apg.

Skiles still ranks among the Magic’s all-time leaders in assists (second, 2,776), free throws made (seventh, 1,176), free throws attempted (eighth, 1,319), minutes played (ninth, 11,940), three-pointers made (tenth, 384) and points scored (tenth, 4,996).

By Staff of and news services

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