On Friday, Fred Hoiberg held his final press conference at Iowa State.
After much speculation, Hoiberg became the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls earlier this week, agreeing to a five-year, $25 million deal. While he inherits a championship-caliber team, Hoiberg leaves behind a preseason top-5 team back in his hometown of Ames, Iowa.
“Obviously, I would have been very happy being here my entire career and I wasn’t lying about that,” Hoiberg said. “I really would have. I’ve counted. Eleven teams have called me over the last three years and I’ve never really let them get anywhere, except for this last one.”
With Georges Niang, Monte Morris, Naz Long and Jameel McKay back, Iowa State is considered the No. 4 overall team in College Basketball Talk‘s Way-Too-Early Preseason Rankings. The focus now shifts to who will coach a team with such lofty expectations for the 2015-16 season. Many have speculated that Iowa State assistant T.J. Otzelberger, who rejoined the coaching staff in April, would be Hoiberg’s successor, although, Hoiberg is leaving the decision-making process up to athletic director Jamie Pollard.
“There’s been rumors that T.J. was brought back to be my successor, that’s not true. That’s absolutely not the case,” Hoiberg said. “I brought T.J. back because of a great amount of success I have for him and the great job that he did for me in my early years here. I think T.J. will be a terrific coach, there’s no doubt in my mind. But again, Jamie is the guy I am confident will make the right hire.
Fred Hoiberg had a 115–56 (49–39 Big 12) record in five seasons with the Cyclones.