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.

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One last time game day with Fred

A post shared 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.

Fred Hoiberg’s final press conference at Iowa State (VIDEO)


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.

Fred Hoiberg’s former players offer up touching twitter tributes

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It would be easy for any player on the Iowa State roster to be mad at head coach Fred Hoiberg, particularly seniors Georges Niang and Naz Long.

They helped turned this program around, and after returning to school for their final season, they made their way into spring as a top five team with a chance to win a national title. And then, on the first day of June, their head coach bails on them — on his hometown team — for a chance to coach an NBA team.

I don’t think I could blame anyone on that roster if they were upset about Hoiberg’s decision to go pro.

But they’re not.

Both Niang and Long posted beautiful, heartfelt thank you notes to Hoiberg on their twitter accounts after The Mayor took off for Chicago:

It’s great to see young men handling a situation like this with such class.

Reports: #FredHoibergWatch takes another step forward

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According to multiple reports, the Chicago Bulls’ search for a new head coach may come to an end by the middle of next week, with current Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg being the focus.

Saturday afternoon the Des Moines Register reported that the Bulls could introduce Hoiberg as its new head coach as soon as Tuesday, with Wednesday being a possibility as well. Also, reported that the two sides are working on a five-year contract that would bring Hoiberg back to the franchise that he played for from 1999 to 2003.

The following was written in the Des Moines Register about a possible timeline:

If Tuesday is the day for either a press conference or just an announcement, and the sources say it also could be Wednesday at the latest, then that means the first time Hoiberg could address his entire team is late this week. The players, most of whom left campus after the spring semester ended, are expected back by Friday.

Hoiberg also has a close relationship with Bulls general manager Gar Forman, with the relationship between the head coach and front office being the biggest reason why the franchise fired Tom Thibodeau.

Hoiberg’s name has come up in regards to the Chicago Bulls’ job for quiet some time, and its long been his desire to one day coach at the NBA level. Moving now to a team that has talented pieces, led by Derrick Rose, would obviously aid in his transition to the NBA from a coaching standpoint. According to multiple reports Friday, Hoiberg also interviewed with the Orlando Magic earlier this month with the franchise ultimately settling on Scott Skiles as its new head coach.

Also of note is the fact that he’ll be leaving a very good team in Ames, one led by Georges Niang and Monte Morris that’s expected to contend both in the Big 12 and nationally in 2015-16. That should help Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard in his search should he have to find a new head coach.

And while reports aren’t the same as a “sure thing,” it’s looking as if Pollard will have to find a new leader for his basketball program. Among the names that have surfaced are current Iowa State assistant T.J. Otzlberger and Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek, with Hornacek restating his commitment to the Suns earlier this week.