Wildwood Graduate Frank Vogel will be in the Spotlight in the NBA Playoffs

Wildwood Graduate Frank Vogel will be in the Spotlight in the NBA Playoffs
With the NBA playoffs having begun this week, one of the people who will be in the spotlight is Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, the pride of Wildwood High.
 
Vogel is a 1991 graduate of Wildwood and he’s always proud to talk about his local roots. He says he loves to come back to the Philadelphia area and he remains a big Eagles fans.
 
He has enjoyed quite a bit of success as a coach in the NBA. He was named the Lakers head coach in May of 2019.
 
All he did in his first season was lead the Lakers to the top seed in the Western Conference, with a 52-19 record. 
 
Vogel loves talking about Wildwood, South Jersey and the Eagles. 
 
As a senior at Wildwood in 1991, he led the Warriors to the South Jersey Group 1 semifinals, wehre they fell to favored Burlington City, 69-61. 
 
Vogel, always the team player, had seven assists that game.
 
After high school he attended Juniata College for two years, but then transferred to Kentucky, knowing he wanted to be a coach. He became the student manager on a team coached by legendary Rick Pitino. When Pitino was hired as head coach of the Boston Celtics, Vogel joined the staff as video coordinator. 
 
By 2001 he was promoted to assistant coach for the Celtics under head coach Jim O’Brien. Vogel then served one season as a Sixers assistant in 2004-2005 under O’Brien, who only lasted one year in Philadelphia. 
 
So did Vogel, who became and NBA scout for two seasons before again joining O’Brien, who was named head coach of the Indiana Pacers in 2007. Vogel served as an assistant coach with the Pacers. 
 
When O’Brien was fired in January of 2011, Vogel was named interim head coach. After making the playoffs, Vogel was named the head coach. During his time as a head coach he led Indiana to the Eastern Conference finals twice. 
 
Vogel was the head coach in Indiana through the 2015-2016 season and the next year was hired by the Orlando Magic. Vogel only lasted to seasons in Orlando.
 
He didn’t coach in 2018-2019, but then was hired by the Lakers. Among the most storied franchises in all of sports, the Lakers were going through the roughest stretch in franchise history when they hired Vogel.
 
The Lakers entered 2019-2020 with six straight losing seasons, after going 37-45 in LeBron James’ first season in Los Angeles.
 
Acquiring all-star forward-center Anthony Davis in a blockbuster offseason trade was a move that turned the Lakers around, but the guidance of Vogel can’t be discounted.
 
He had James at 6-foot-8, serve as the defacto point guard. All James did was lead the NBA in assists per game (10.2).
 
Now the Lakers as the top seed are facing what is perceived as a dangerous No. 8 seed in the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
There will be a lot of pressure on the Lakers, especially with James looking to earn his fourth NBA title. 

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Through it all, Vogel has put his imprint on the team and had a major hand in reviving the franchise that is once again the NBA’s biggest attraction.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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