Magic hire Steve Clifford as head coach

Magic hire Steve Clifford as head coach

By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer

Steve Clifford was announced Wednesday as the new coach of the Orlando Magic, returning to a franchise that's missed the playoffs in each of the last six years.

Clifford spent the last five years as coach of the Charlotte Hornets before getting fired at the end of this season. He was an assistant in Orlando from 2007 to 2012 on Stan Van Gundy's staff.

He's the first major hire made by Magic president Jeff Weltman, who took over the club a year ago after the team fired Rob Hennigan and ended his five-year run. Clifford is replacing Frank Vogel, who was let go after two seasons.

Clifford went 196-214 with the Hornets.

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