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Clifford named Magic head coach

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By Agence France-Presse

The Orlando Magic on Wednesday named Steve Clifford as their new head coach, taking over from Frank Vogel who was fired last month.

Clifford, 56, was a former assistant coach at the franchise from 2007-2012, a period that saw the Magic reach the playoffs five times including a 2009 NBA Finals appearance.

He will be handed the task of attempting to resurrect the Magic’s fortunes after a dismal 2017-2018 campaign which saw them finish one place off the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 25-57 record.

Clifford is Orlando’s fifth head coach since 2012, following Jacque Vaughn, James Borrego, Scott Skiles and Vogel.

Clifford joins after five seasons as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets. He took the Hornets to the playoffs twice during that period, compiling a 196-214 record.

“We are very excited to welcome Steve (Clifford) back into the Magic family,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said.

“Steve is widely regarded throughout the NBA community as an elite coach and developer of players at all stages.

“His teams have always been disciplined and prepared and have embraced the concept of playing for each other.” (AFP)