Kevin Ollie Promoted to Lead the Brooklyn Nets

Following the dismissal of coach Jacque Vaughn, reports from ESPN indicate that the Brooklyn Nets are elevating assistant Kevin Ollie to the position of interim head coach.

Sources reveal that Ollie will take charge of the Nets’ practice session on Tuesday and officially assume head coaching responsibilities starting Thursday against the Toronto Raptors. With 28 regular-season games remaining, the Nets are banking on Ollie to breathe new life into a team that has struggled in both offensive and defensive efficiency since mid-December.

Ollie, a seasoned NBA veteran with 13 seasons under his belt, brings a decorated coaching background, having secured a national championship as the head coach of UConn in 2014. Joining the Nets as an assistant coach this season, Ollie’s appointment signifies the organization’s confidence in his ability to make a positive impact.

Jacque Vaughn, who served as the Nets’ coach for over two seasons, amassed a regular-season record of 71-68 and an 0-8 postseason record. He took over from Steve Nash last season, guiding the team to a 43-32 record before suffering a first-round playoff sweep in the Eastern Conference.

“To Joe Tsai, Clara Wu-Tsai, Ollie Weisberg, Sam Zussman, Sean Marks and front office, Nets coaches, staff, players, BSE family and the entire Brooklyn borough: It was a pleasure being your Head Coach,” said Vaughn in a statement issued to ESPN following his dismissal. “I hope each individual I interacted with felt respected and valued. Just know I gave you everything I had every single day. Onto the next chapter. Amor Fati.”

Vaughn stepped into the coaching role for the Nets in March 2020, seizing his opportunity after Kenny Atkinson’s departure just before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the season. Under Vaughn’s guidance, the Nets boasted a commendable 7-3 record, securing a playoff berth in the restart “bubble” at Walt Disney World. Despite this achievement, the Nets ultimately chose to appoint Steve Nash as head coach, despite his lack of coaching experience. Vaughn gracefully transitioned to an assistant coaching role, continuing to contribute to the team’s success.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we feel is in the best interest of the team going forward,” said Nets general manager Sean Marks in a statement. “Jacque has represented this organization with exemplary character and class for the past eight years. The consistent positivity and passion he poured into our team daily will remain with the players and staff he interacted with throughout his tenure. We thank Jacque for all he has done for the Nets and the borough of Brooklyn, and wish him, Laura and their family nothing but the best in the future.”