The Indiana Pacers decide to part ways with head coach Frank Vogel

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The Indiana Pacers have announced that they have officially parted ways with head coach Frank Vogel after six seasons. 

Elimination in the first-round of the playoffs by the Toronto Raptors appeared to be the final nail in Vogel's coffin.

The 42-year-old's contract was set to expire this summer and the decision not to offer him a renewal was confirmed by Pacers president Larry Bird at a news conference in Indianapolis today. 

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Anybody familiar with the situation will not be surprised by the announcement as Bird stated earlier this week that they were undecided on what the future was for Vogel in Indiana.

"It's time for a new voice around here," Bird said during the press conference. "Sometimes my job really sucks. I had time to think about it and watch the team throughout the year. I had higher expectations than most people on how our team should play. I came to a conclusion it's time for these guys to hear a new voice. Made a decision not to renew [Vogel's contract]."

In six years as the head coach in Indy, Vogel amassed a record of 250-181 and a postseason record of 31-30. He holds the most wins of any coach in the franchise's history.

The young coach has paid the price for Bird's high expectations of the team and for failing to implement the up-tempo style that he wanted them to deploy. 

The Boston Celtics legend made it clear he was unhappy with the Pacers' offensive displays this year and their low scoring output. 

After losing game seven 89-84 to the Raptors on Monday, Bird again expressed his frustration at the team's lack of scoring power.

“It’s no secret — I want us to score more points," Bird told the IndyStar.

"If you’d told me we’d score 84 points … You can’t go very far in the playoffs if you don’t score. "When I tell people this, it’s not because I think I know it all — it’s because I experienced it as a player.”

Under Vogel, Indiana has never been the most gifted team on offence, with the coach's efforts focused more on the defensive side of the game. In this campaign, the Pacers averaged 102.2 points per game in the regular season, which was 17th in the NBA. They averaged 93.7 per game in the postseason, which put them 12th out of the 16 teams. 

Vogel, though, can certainly feel slightly hard done by after guiding the franchise to the playoffs despite losing key players such as Roy Hibbert and David West from the team that made back-to-back Eastern Conference finals appearances in 2013 and 2014.

On both occasions - and in the semi-finals in 2012 - they failed to overcome a LeBron James-inspired Heat team which is no disgrace as the South Beach outfit went on to win the championship in two of those three years. 

Among his accomplishments in Indiana, Vogel helped to nurture the talents of Paul George who is now a superstar in the league and a perennial All-Star. 

With teams such as the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets looking for new coaches in this offseason, Vogel may be hearing his phone ring sooner than he thinks and may not be out of the game for long.  

Paul George
Indiana Pacers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Monta Ellis

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