Seemingly at every corner, Muir High alumnus Jacque Vaughn has proven himself a winner.
The Orlando Magic are hoping the 37-year-old former Altadena resident can conjure up some more success, as Vaughn was named head coach of the franchise at a press conference Monday afternoon.
The head-coaching gig is the first for Vaughn, an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs the last two seasons, who spoke openly about the perception his hire was somewhat of a gamble.
“Sometimes life is about timing, it's about luck, but sometimes you have to stick your neck out a little bit and take a leap of faith, create your own destiny,” Vaughn said. “There's nothing wrong with that.
“The DeVos family (owners of the Orlando Magic) is doing that today, taking a leap of faith in my ability to relate to guys, to communicate with individuals, to get a group of men to gather together for a common goal, to have resolve, to compete. I'm proud to be a part of that. Today, the destiny starts and I'm thankful to be the head coach of the Orlando Magic.”
Prior to his stint in San Antonio as a coach, Vaughn spent 12 seasons as a reserve point guard with Utah, Atlanta, Orlando, New Jersey and San Antonio, where Vaughn retired after the 2008-09 season.
For his career, Vaughn averaged 4.5 points, 2.5 assists and 16.3 minutes per game.
Vaughn’s best statistical season came in 2001-02 in his lone campaign with the Hawks, in which he averaged career highs in points (6.6), assists (4.3) and minutes (22.6) per game.
Vaughn was also part of the 2007 Spurs, who won the NBA Finals after sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Vaughn’s on-court experience was the leading reason as to why he was chosen.
“[Jacque’s] also had a chance to play for and learn from some of basketball's best coaches — Roy Williams, Jerry Sloan, Doc Rivers, Greg Popovich,” Orlando Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan said at the press conference, “and it's those experiences coupled with Jacque's own vision and his intellect and his attention to detail that we feel gives us a lot of promise moving forward.”
At Muir, Vaughn played from 1990-93 and led the Mustangs to their second-ever basketball championship when Muir defeated Charles O’Bannon-led Artesia, 70-63, in the 1993 CIF Southern Section Division II-A title game at UC Irvine.
For his efforts, Vaughn was named the divisional co-Player of the Year, along with O’Bannon, and was also named an All-American by several publications, include Parade.
Vaughn still owns a pair of Southern Section records, including most career assists (1,136), which is well ahead of runner-up Corey Fava (901) of St. Margaret’s, and most assists in a season (513), set in 1993.
After Muir, Vaughn was a two-time second-team All-American at the University of Kansas before being selected by Utah with the 27th pick in the 1997 draft.
The announcement of Vaughn’s hiring means that the Jan. 12 match-up between visiting Orlando and the Los Angeles Clippers will join two of Muir’s top three hoops products, Stacey Augmon notwithstanding, in Vaughn and new Clippers forward Ryan Hollins.