Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Scott Skiles' best seasons as an NBA player came with the Orlando Magic. The former point guard will now try to restore the struggling franchise back to glory as its new head coach.
The Magic have announced the hiring of Skiles, a former head coach with Phoenix, Chicago and Milwaukee who'll be returning to the bench following a two-year hiatus.
Skiles, whose 2,776 assists in a Magic uniform ranks second in club history, owns a 443-433 overall record in 13 seasons as an NBA head coach. The fiery 51-year-old's most recent stop came with the Bucks and ended when he and the team mutually agreed to part ways 32 games into the 2012-13 campaign.
Skiles' teams have earned postseason berths six times, reaching the conference semifinals with Phoenix in 1999-00 and Chicago in 2006-07. Milwaukee made the playoffs only once in five seasons under his direction, however.
Prior to taking over the Suns in 1999, Skiles also served as a player-coach with PAOK in the Greek Basketball League.
"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," Magic CEO Alex Martins said in a statement. "We feel Scott 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."
An original member of the Magic, Skiles spent five seasons in Orlando from 1989-94 and was named the NBA's Most Improved Player after averaging 17.2 points and 8.4 assists in 1990-91. That season was highlighted by a 30-assist performance against Denver that still stands as a league single-game record.
"Scott clearly distinguished himself as a tremendous fit," said Magic general manager Rob 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 will be asked to turn around an Orlando team that hasn't won more than 25 games in any of its three seasons since trading away franchise center Dwight Howard in 2012. The Magic fired head coach Jacque Vaughn in February after a 15-37 start, then went 10-20 under interim replacement James Borrego.
Skiles is no stranger to overseeing rebuilding efforts, though. He inherited a Bulls squad that began the 2003-04 season 4-12 and steered the team into the playoffs the following year. The Bucks went 26-56 prior to his arrival in 2007, then won 46 games and made the postseason two seasons later.