Fred Hoiberg on accepting Nebraska basketball job: ‘There is great potential for the future’

Fred Hoiberg on accepting Nebraska basketball job: ‘There is great potential for the future’
Fred Hoiberg, the former head coach at Iowa State and with the Chicago Bulls, was Nebraska’s main target to replace Tim Miles. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LINCOLN — Fred Hoiberg finalized a deal to become Nebraska’s next men’s basketball coach Saturday morning, the school confirmed on Saturday afternoon.

Hoiberg, the former coach at Iowa State and with the Chicago Bulls, was Nebraska’s main target to replace Tim Miles, who was fired last Tuesday after Nebraska’s second-round NIT loss at TCU.

The 46-year-old Hoiberg was born in Lincoln and is the grandson of Jerry Bush, Nebraska’s basketball coach from 1954-63.

“I can’t express how excited I am to be back on the sidelines and to be coaching at a university that means a lot to my family and me,” Hoiberg said in a press release. “Lincoln is a special place for our family. I was born in Lincoln, my grandfather Jerry Bush was the head coach at Nebraska, my other grandfather was a long-time professor there, and my parents are proud graduates of the University of Nebraska.

“Nebraska has always felt like a second home.”

Hoiberg became a household name in the college coaching world after making Iowa State into a Big 12 contender. From 2010-15, Hoiberg took the Cyclones to four straight NCAA tournaments, advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2014. Iowa State won the Big 12 tournament in his final two seasons before he left for Chicago in 2015.

Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos will officially introduce Hoiberg as new coach at a Tuesday press conference in Lincoln. Hoiberg signed a seven year, $25 million contract with NU, making him the third-highest paid coach in the Big Ten. His $3.57 million yearly salary, ranks 11th nationally.

Hoiberg made $5 million with the Bulls. Miles made $2.3 million for the 2018-19 season, which ranked eighth in the Big Ten and 44th in the country.

“We are excited to welcome Fred, his wife Carol, and their family to Nebraska,” Moos said in a statement. “He will be an outstanding representative of the University, and a great leader for our men’s basketball program.”

Over the past few months, Hoiberg has been connected to multiple jobs in both the NBA and college basketball. Nebraska’s coaching search began in mid-February, and sources told The World-Herald that Hoiberg was the top candidate for the job. As early as a month ago, a source said Hoiberg was still interested in coaching in the NBA.

But something changed.

Moos and University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds made contact with Hoiberg in February to gauge interest. At the press conference announcing Miles had been fired, Moos confirmed he’d talked to Hoiberg but downplayed the idea NU was close to hiring him, saying the talks were just in the preliminary stages. But conversations with Hoiberg and Nebraska have been going on for weeks, according to a source.

Moos said last Tuesday he expected the announcement of a hire in seven to 14 days. It lasted four.

“When you look at him, you see an individual who has had success as a player and a coach,” Moos said in a statement. “Fred’s background will sell itself on the recruiting trail, and help us bring in the type of student-athletes needed to compete at the highest level. His style of play not only will be appealing to prospective recruits, but will also provide our great fans an entertaining brand of basketball.”

The hiring of Hoiberg goes against a half-century of hiring patterns for Nebraska basketball. Hoiberg is the first men’s basketball coach hired at Nebraska with experience in a major conference since Harry Good was hired from Indiana in 1946.

Hoiberg moved from Lincoln to Ames, Iowa, as a child and played at Iowa State before going on to a 10-year NBA career. At Iowa State he earned the nickname “The Mayor” because of his popularity and even received votes in the Ames mayoral race in 1993.

His coaching career began in 2010, when he was hired by Iowa State after serving in a front office role with the Minnesota Timberwolves. After five seasons, Hoiberg moved to the NBA.

He was fired this December after a 115-155 record with the Bulls.

Four months later, he’s the new face of Husker basketball.

“I had the opportunity to coach at Pinnacle Bank Arena with the Bulls, and I have seen first-hand that the facilities are as nice as any in the country,” Hoiberg said. “When you couple that with a loyal and passionate fan base, you can see there is great potential for the future of Nebraska basketball.”

Fred Hoiberg’s contract with Nebraska is the third highest in the Big Ten, according to reports

LINCOLN — New Nebraska men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg’s contract is for 7 years and $25 million, according to multiple reports. It is biggest contract in Husker basketball history.

Nebraska will now employ one of the highest paid coaches in all of college basketball.

In terms of total pay, Hoiberg’s $3.57 million a year salary is 11th highest in the country and third-highest in the Big Ten. He ranks just behind Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, who makes $4.15 a year, and Michigan’s John Beilein, who makes $3.8 million.

Hoiberg will make more a year than Indiana’s Archie Miller, Tennessee’s Rick Barnes and Texas’ Shaka Smart.

The increase in spending is a major move for Nebraska, who paid Tim Miles $2.37 million for the 2018-19 season, which was 44th in the country and 9th in the Big Ten. Miles’ salary would have raised to $2.5 million had he been retained for next season.

The Big Ten average is about $2.7 million.

Miles was fired on Tuesday after seven seasons. Hoiberg finalized his contract on Saturday morning. He made $5 million a year at his previous job as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls. While at Iowa State, Hoiberg made $2.6 million a year.

Combined, Nebraska will pay its head football and basketball coaches $8.57 million a year, which ranks among the highest combinations in the country.

Scott Frost ranks 10th in the country with a $5 million a year salary. That ranks third in the Big Ten.

Top 10 men’s college basketball salaries:

1. John Calipari, Kentucky: $9.2 million

2. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke: $7.04 million

3. Tom Izzo, Michigan State: $4.15 million

4. Tony Bennett, Virginia: $4.15 million

5. Bill Self, Kansas: $4.066 million

6. Chris Mack, Louisville: $4.007 million

7. Roy Williams, North Carolina: $3.92 million

8 Jay Wright, Villanova: $3.8 million

9. Bob Huggins, West Virginia: $3.86 million

10. John Beilein, Michigan: $3.8 million

11. Fred Hoiberg, Nebraska: $3.57 million

Big Ten men’s basketball salaries

Michigan: John Beilein, $3.8 million

Michigan State: Tom Izzo, $3,732,562

Nebraska: Fred Hoiberg, $3.57 million

Indiana: Archie Miller, $3.25 million

Ohio State: Chris Holtmann, $3,013,750

Illinois: Brad Underwood, $2.85 million

Maryland: Mark Turgeon, $2,847,232

Purdue: Matt Painter, $2.825 million

Wisconsin: Greg Gard, $2.35 million

Iowa: Fran McCaffery, $2.3 million

Minnesota: Richard Pitino, $2,188,141

Rutgers: Steve Pikiell, $1.6 million

Northwestern: Chris Collins, $1,507,154

*Penn State is protected by Pennsylvania state law from providing salary figures for coach Patrick Chambers.

Who is Fred Hoiberg? 19 things you may not know about Nebraska’s new basketball coach

Think you know everything there is to know about new Nebraska men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg? Well, here are 19 bits of trivia that may be new information for fans:

* * *

1. Fred Hoiberg was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Oct. 15, 1972. His mom, Karen, grew up there, and his dad, Eric, was a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

2. Hoiberg is the second member of his family to coach the Husker men’s basketball team. His grandfather is Jerry Bush, who went 81-132 in nine seasons at Nebraska from 1955-63.

3. When Fred’s father completed his doctorate in sociology in 1974, he had job offers from Kansas and Iowa State. He chose Iowa State and moved the family to Ames when Fred was a toddler. How different would his life have been, though, if someone at UNL offered Eric Hoiberg a job instead?

4. Despite growing up in Ames, Iowa, Fred Hoiberg was actually a big Husker football fan. As a kid he frequently watched an old recording of the Game of the Century. “I wasn’t alive, but my parents had a video,” Hoiberg said in 2015. “That was the best.”

5. Hoiberg excelled as a high school athlete. He was the starting quarterback for Ames High School and also starred on the hardwood. He led the basketball team to a state championship in 1991 and was named Iowa’s Mr. Basketball.

6. Hoiberg had an opportunity to play football at Nebraska. Tom Osborne offered him a scholarship, and Hoiberg says Osborne once called him from the tunnel before a game. “We were hoping he’d want to play football, but I think basketball was his first love,” Osborne said years ago. “They were pretty well rooted in the Ames community, too.”

7. How popular was Hoiberg in Ames? He earned the nickname “The Mayor” and even received some write-in votes in the city’s mayoral election in 1993. His family has also adopted the nickname. His mother, Karen, uses the Twitter handle @mayorsmom1 and his wife, Carol, uses @mayorswife32.

8. You’ll find Hoiberg’s name all over the Iowa State record books. He holds the school record for consecutive free throws made (34 in 1992) and is tied for most steals in a game (7 in 1991). He ranks fourth in career points (1,993), eighth in career rebounds (748), 12th in career assists (350) and fourth in career steals (207). His career field-goal percentage (.510) ranks 15th, career free-throw percentage (.844) ranks sixth and career 3-point percentage (.400) ranks eighth. He started 123 games in his career (fourth) and had a streak of 43 straight games scoring in double figures (fifth longest).

9. Hoiberg has his No. 32 jersey retired by Iowa State, one of seven players in program history to receive that honor. The others: Gary Thompson, Zaid Abdul-Aziz, Jeff Grayer, Jeff Hornacek, Waldo Wegner and Barry Stevens.

10. The Indiana Pacers selected Hoiberg with the 52nd overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft. Some other notable players drafted that year: Kevin Garnett, Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace. Hoiberg went on to play 10 seasons in the NBA.

11. Hoiberg led the NBA with a .483 3-point percentage during the 2004-05 season while he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves. But Hoiberg didn’t get invited to participate in the 3-point contest during All-Star weekend. Who did? Quentin Richardson (winner), Ray Allen, Joe Johnson, Voshon Lenard, Kyle Korver and Vladimir Radmanovic.

12. Hoiberg learned from some legendary coaches during his career. He Played for Johnny Orr at Iowa State, Larry Brown and Larry Bird with the Pacers, and Flip Saunders with the Timberwolves.

13. In the summer of 2005, Hoiberg discovered he had an enlarged aortic root in his heart. That required open-heart surgery to replace it and he also had a pacemaker installed. Though Hoiberg briefly considered returning to the NBA, that heart condition eventually led to his retirement. Hoiberg underwent open-heart surgery again in 2015 but remains in good health.

14. After his playing career ended, Hoiberg took a job in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ front office, first as an assistant general manager before eventually being promoted to vice president of basketball operations.

15. Hoiberg didn’t have any coaching experience when he became head coach at Iowa State in 2010. But that didn’t seem to hold him back. He became the fastest coach in program history to win 100 games and led the Cyclones to four straight NCAA tournaments, including a Sweet 16 berth in 2014.

16. Hoiberg will square off with Greg McDermott each year when Nebraska plays Creighton. In a little bit of irony, McDermott was Hoiberg’s predecessor at Iowa State.

17. And Hoiberg has another connection to the McDermott family. Hoiberg coached Doug McDermott with the Chicago Bulls from 2015-17.

18. Hoiberg met his wife, Carol, in high school and they attended Iowa State together. They have four kids — Paige, Jack and twins Sam and Charlie. And Hoiberg has passed a love for basketball down to his children. Paige works as a student office assistant for the Kansas men’s basketball program, and Jack is a walk-on basketball player at Michigan State.

19. Hoiberg will have some more family with him at Nebraska. His niece, Emma, who graduated from Omaha Central, works as a student assistant in the Husker men’s basketball office.

How past Nebraska basketball coaches have fared in year one

Since 1963, Nebraska has had six basketball coaches before the hiring of Fred Hoiberg. Plenty has been written about Danny Nee’s time at NU and his success with the program in the 90s, but others didn’t fare as well.

Led by Nee, NU missed the school record for season wins by one, ending the season with a 76-67 overtime win over Arkansas-Little Rock in the third-place game of the NIT.

First season: 1986-87

Record: 21-12

Conference (Big Eight): 7-7 (5th)

Postseason: lost in NIT semifinals to Southern Mississippi 82-75

Summary: The Huskers had their 14th straight winning season and made their fifth straight postseason appearance. Brian Carr, a second-team All-Big Eight pick, ended career with a program-record 682 assists.

What level of success can Husker fans expect during Hoiberg’s first season? Here’s a breakdown of how Nebraska’s six coaches since 1963 fared in their first season:

Tim Miles

First season: 2012-13

Record: 15-18

Conference (Big Ten): 5-13 (10th)

Postseason: None

Summary: Miles became the first Nebraska coach to win his road debut since 1919-20 with a win over 79-63 Wake Forest in the ACC/Big Ten challenge. Ten of the Huskers’ 18 losses came against ranked teams, tying the most in school history (1994-95, 1991-92). NU went 11-7 in the final season at the Devaney Center, finishing 447-151 (.751) in 37 seasons. Miles also led the Huskers to their first Big Ten tournament win with a 57-55 win over Purdue.

Doc Sadler

First season: 2006-07

Record: 17-14

Conference (Big 12): 6-10 (t-7th)

Postseason: None

Summary: Sadler replaced Collier after he left in early August to become Athletic Director at Butler. NU started the season with a five-game win streak including a victory against No. 20 Creighton before playing one home game in December while traveling more than 15,000 miles for six games. Aleks Maric earned second-team All-Big 12 honors, averaging 18.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

Barry Collier

First season: 2000-01

Record: 14-16

Conference (Big 12): 7-9 (7th)

Postseason: None

Summary: Cookie Belcher set the Big 12 record and finished third in NCAA history with 353 career steals. Nebraska recorded a five-game winning streak in December, while winning the San Juan Shootout.

Moe Iba

First season: 1980-81

Record: 15-12

Conference (Big Eight): 9-5 (t-2nd)

Postseason: None

Summary: Coach Joe Cipriano died after a year-long battle with cancer three days before the season opener. Iba was named UPI Big Eight coach of the year after splitting the honor with Cipriano in the season prior. A six-game win streak, including an upset of No. 18 Kansas, helped the Huskers clinch a second-place finish for the second straight season. Andre Smith earned AP/UPI Big Eight player of the year honors, averaging a league-high 19.5 points per game in Big Eight play.

Joe Cipriano

First season: 1963-64

Record: 7-18

Conference (Big Eight): 5-9 (t-6th)

Postseason: None

Summary: Nebraska opened the season with a 79-72 win over Wyoming before losing nine straight. Cipriano’s Huskers lost nine of 13 to end the season after opening Big Eight play with two straight wins. Charlie Jones led NU in scoring (12.9) and rebounding (6.8).

Nebraska basketball coaches

Fred Hoiberg, 2019-present

Tim Miles, 2012-19: 116-114 (.504)

Doc Sadler, 2007-12: 101-89 (.532)

Barry Collier, 2001-06: 89-91 (.494)

Danny Nee, 1987-2000: 254-190 (.572)

Moe Iba, 1981-86: 106-71 (.599)

Joe Cipriano, 1964-80: 253-197 (.562)

Jerry Bush, 1955-63: 81-132 (.380)

Harry C. Good, 1947-54: 86-99 (.465)

L.F. Klein, 1946: 7-13 (.350)

A.J. Lewandowski, 1941-45: 24-63 (.276)

William Browne, 1933-40: 64-87 (.424)

Charles T. Black, 1927-32: 51-47 (.472)

Ernest Bearg, 1926: 8-10 (.444)

W.E. Kline, 1924-25: 23-12 (.657)

Owen A. Frank, 1922-23: 14-21 (.400)

Paul Schlisser, 1920-21: 37-5 (.881)

Dr. E.J. Stewart, 1917-19: 29-23 (.558)

Sam Waugh, 1916: 13-1 (.929)

E.O. Stiehm, 1912-15: 56-14 (.800)

O.F. Field, 1911: 9-9 (.500)

T.J. Hewiat, 1910: 6-10 (.375)

R.G. Clapp, 1904-09: 59-43 (.578)

Walter Hiltner, 1903: 7-5 (.583)

Fred Morrell, 1902: 5-3 (.625)

E. Berry, 1901: 3-3 (.500)

T.P. Hewitt, 1900: 5-0 (1.000)

Frank Lehmer, 1897-99: 7-3 (.700)

We strive for accuracy. Report a typo, inaccuracy, or mistake here.

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