Orlando Magic hire Scott Skiles as head coach
The Orlando Magic have named Scott Skiles head coach, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Skiles becomes the 12th head coach in franchise history.
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.
“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.”
“As we began our search, our internal discussions centered on finding a head coach with a solid resume of NBA head coaching experience, great leadership qualities, a motivating communication style, and someone with a strong strategic acumen,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “We feel Scott (Skiles) brings a balanced approach in all those qualities and we look forward, with great confidence, to him leading our young men in helping us reach our collective goal of sustainable success.”
Skiles’ coaching career 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. The Bulls won 49 games in 2006-07, their most since 1997-98, and swept the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat, 4-0, during the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
On April 21, 2008, Skiles was named head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. In 2008-09, he led the Bucks to an eight-game improvement, then 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 originally selected by Milwaukee in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1986 NBA Draft.
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).
Skiles was an All-American at Michigan State University under legendary coach Jud Heathcote. He left as MSU’s all-time leading scorer when he graduated in 1986 (2,145 points, currently ranked 3rd), has had his No. 4 jersey retired, and was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in September of 2007.
A native of Plymouth, Ind., Skiles was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame on March 25, 2009, and had his No. 22 jersey retired at Plymouth High School (Indiana) in 1992. As a senior (1981-82), he scored 39 points in the state finals to lead Plymouth to the 1982 Indiana State Championship. Skiles is married to his wife, Kim. He has two sons, Scott and Sean, and one daughter, Shelby.