Magic announce Clifford as new coach

Sam Amico

Former Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford has been hired as the new coach of the Orlando Magic, the team announced Wednesday.

Clifford was fired by the Hornets in April after five seasons. He was an assistant under Stan Van Gundy with the Magic when the team made a trip to the NBA Finals in 2009.

“We are very excited to welcome Steve 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.”

According to ESPN, Clifford agreed to a four-year contract.

Clifford, 56, met with Magic ownership in Michigan on Tuesday to finalize a deal, per ESPN.

"Orlando president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman considered Clifford the right combination of tactical coach, teacher and disciplinarian for a young, developing roster," ESPN wrote.

The Magic have scheduled a Wednesday press conference to introduce Clifford. He compiled a 194-216 record with the Hornets.

Along with the Magic, Clifford spent time as an assistant with the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Magic finished 25-57 last season under Frank Vogel.