Vaughn finished his playing career in San Antonio and was an assistant coach for the Spurs from 2010 to 2012 before he was hired by the Magic to be their head coach. Things didn't work out in Orlando. With Vaughn at the helm, the team only won 58 out of 216 games, for a record of .269. Midway through last season he was fired and James Borrego, who was also hired by the Spurs this offseason, took over.
Vaughn's role remains unclear. Wojnarowski says he's replacing Trajan Langdon, who was a scout for the Spurs, but mentions that he might return to the bench as an assistant if there's an opening. The Spurs already have Ettore Messina, Ime Udoka, James Borrego and Becky Hammon filling those roles. It's too early for speculation but it's possible the Spurs are expecting someone already on staff to leave after next season.
Regardless of Vaughn's specific role or Gregg Popovich's future plans for his staff, the hiring is good news. Vaughn might not have been the right coach for the Magic but he left a good impression as an assistant.
"Jacque has a fine basketball mind," Popovich told The Orlando Sentinel's Josh Robbins last February, before Vaughn was fired. "He's a hard worker. He's great with people. He's got all the ingredients. To date it hasn't worked out as well as they thought it would, but circumstances is what somebody's always got to think about."
After the departures of Mike Budenholzer and Brett Brown, the Spurs are doing a good job of replacing them with smart, capable basketball people.
Welcome back, JV!