Fred Hoiberg

Fred Hoiberg
Associated Press

Report: Iowa State admins ‘nickel and dimed’ Hoiberg’s program

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When it was announced during the summer that Fred Hoiberg would be leaving his position as head coach at Iowa State to take on the same role with the Chicago Bulls, few were surprised. “The Mayor” made a name for himself in his hometown of Ames as a high school and college player at Iowa State, and returned to lead the program to multiple NCAA tournament appearances and two Big 12 tournament titles.

However due to his experience in the NBA as a player and executive, a move to the pro game was seen by many as a matter of “when” it would occur as opposed to “if.” What many may not have bargained for was some of the circumstances that reportedly may have influenced Hoiberg’s decision to make the move to Chicago.

Wednesday Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune wrote a story detailing some of the issues Hoiberg’s program reportedly had to deal with away from the court, with the athletic administration “nickel and diming” the team in the years leading up to the head coach’s departure.

One example of this occurred following the team’s winning of the 2013 Diamond Head Classic on Honolulu.

The day after claiming the Diamond Head Classic championship in Hawaii in December 2013, the Iowa State men’s basketball team used luggage as beds and pillows in a hotel ballroom.

The Cyclones, on their way to the best start in school history, went without hotel rooms in order to save ISU from paying an extra night’s rate as they waited hours for their return flights to Iowa, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told the Ames Tribune.

“It was bush league,” one source said. “It was a mid-major move.”

It should be noted that both Pollard and Hoiberg were guests on 1460 KXNO-AM in Des Moines Wednesday afternoon, and they denied having issues with each other (in separate segments). That was one of the other issues cited in the story, with the two being “professional” but not all that close. Hoiberg also touched on the hotel room incident in his interview.

While that may not seem like a big deal, being used as a reason for the increase in prices “concerned” Hoiberg according to the story. And given the fact that he grew up in Ames, that’s certainly an understandable concern to have.


With Hoiberg having moved on, the question now is how this will all impact Steve Prohm as he looks to pick up where “The Mayor” left off. While on the court the talent is there for Prohm to have an immediate impact in his first season as head coach, financial support will factor into the efforts to make sure Iowa State basketball is successful for years to come.

And if there are issues between the administration and the head coach, that task becomes far more difficult.

Fred Hoiberg makes surprise appearance at Iowa State fantasy camp (VIDEO)

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Iowa State is continuing to move on from former head coach and alum Fred Hoiberg, who took the same position with the Chicago Bulls last month. New head coach Steve Prohm and the Iowa State players helped lead the first-ever Iowa State fantasy camp over the weekend for those 25-and-older who wanted to experience what it would be like to play for the Cyclones.

Even though he’s now in the NBA, Hoiberg made a surprise appearance back to Hilton Coliseum over the weekend to give a pregame speech to a group of fantasy campers who were about to take the floor in the championship game.

According to a report from Garrett Kroeger of the Iowa State Daily, the pre-game speech was a typical chalk talk from Hoiberg but it also got a bit emotional.

Iowa State center Jameel McKay summed up the experience to the paper. “It was one last game day with coach [Hoiberg], which made it an unreal feeling,” McKay said to Kroeger.

McKay also captured a video of some of Hoiberg’s speech and put it on Instagram.

One last time game day with Fred

A video posted by Jameel Mckay (@showtime_mckay) on

The camp was originally supposed to be called the Fred Hoiberg Basketball Camp, so for The Mayor to come back to Iowa State to appease some campers paying for an experience is a tremendous gesture on his part. It also gave Hoiberg the chance to be with some of his former players and they also got to hear the pre-game speech since they were coaching the fantasy teams.

Assigned Reading: How Iowa State settled on Steve Prohm as its new head coach

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When Fred Hoiberg officially became head coach of the Chicago Bulls, the fact that he would one day move on to the NBA did not come as a surprise to Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard. The two have a good relationship, and during Hoiberg’s time in Ames that meant frequent communication on matters such as Hoiberg’s coaching future.

Pollard moved quickly to fill the vacancy, with Iowa State President Steve Leath offering his thoughts on who should be hired and the school using a search firm to help with the process. However the search firm wasn’t used in the way that some assume them to be; that they’re hired for a program that doesn’t know how to handle a coaching search.

Instead the school provided the firm with a list of names to look into in regards to background and interview logistics, with that list being narrowed down to seven before the interview process. In this story by Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register, the entire search is broken down and it includes this interesting exchange between Pollard and Hoiberg:

When Pollard asked whom he should consider as his replacement, Hoiberg responded with two words: Steve Prohm.

“The first person out of his mouth was Steve Prohm, and Fred said the reason was that, ‘He runs everything that I run. I’ve met him, (and) he’s a man of character,’ ” Pollard said. “That did not mean Steve Prohm was getting the job. I did not meet Steve Prohm until (last) Sunday morning for the first time.”

Obviously not all head coaching searches are the same, with schools having particular criteria as to who they end up hiring. But this was a very interesting read, especially for those who wonder if Iowa State’s offense will change from the highly successful system run by Hoiberg.

The story can be read here.