Back To The Future: Frank Vogel Edition
Before last night’s game, Pacers coach Frank Vogel held his usual pregame media scrum in the hallway outside of the Pacers locker room. Some questions pertained to the game itself, but many were about the significance the coach prowling the opposing sideline, Gregg Popovich, who was on the precipice of career win number 1,000.
Vogel, like many coaches, spoke about Popovich with reverence, calling him a tactical genius. “He’s somebody that all of us active coaches look up to,” Vogel said, “Sort of the godfather of the active coaches right now. We all look up to him and try to emulate him and try to learn from him.”
In the waning moments, Popovich showed exactly the tactical genius that got him to the 1,000 win mark in his career, as he inserted shooter Marco Belinelli for the Spurs’ final offensive possession. The fresh-off-the-bench guard drained the game-winner from the baseline.
But as Pop turned aside questions in the postgame about the importance of win number 1,000, it got us at Pacers.com wondering—how long would Frank Vogel have to coach the Pacers to hit 1K on the wins odometer?
Presently, Vogel’s career record is an impressive 187-133, good for a 58.4 winning percentage. Now obviously, we have no crystal ball, but using what math I retained from algebra II in high school (so it’s probably wrong), if Vogel were to continue on that pace he would need somewhere around 17 more seasons to hit 1,000 dubs.
The year would be 2032; Frank Vogel would be 58 years old, and Paul George would be 41(!). Again, we don’t know what the future holds, but hypothetically, the players who might help enshrine Vogel in the 1,000 club might not yet even be 10 years of age.
All of these numbers seem to elucidate why coaches respect Popovich with the reverence they do. Players come and go, but a coach needs to constantly redefine his or her style, and to have the staying power of Pop—well, Vogel got it right: you have to be a tactical genius.