After weeks of speculation Fred Hoiberg was introduced today as the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls. “We are thrilled today to introduce Fred Hoiberg as the new head basketball coach of the Chicago Bulls,” General Manager Gar Forman said to open the news conference. “In Fred we feel strongly that we’ve got a guy with a skill package as a winning coach, a guy who is natural leader, and a great, great communicator.”
Forman is a former ISU assistant coach who said they knew Hoiberg was the right fit for the Bulls after visiting with him this past weekend, saying he is the best fit for the players and the team.
The 42-year-old Hoiberg spent the past five seasons at Iowa State. The Cyclones won back to back Big-12 Tournament titles and played in four straight NCAA Tournaments. “The last 5 years have been really, really special times in our lives,” Hoiberg said.
Hoiberg thanked Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard first for taking a chance on him to coach the Cyclones when he was working in the Minnesota Timberwolves front office. Hoiberg says it was a difficult decision and he will always be a Cyclone. “The hardest thing about leaving Iowa State University right now is the players that I’ve built such great relationships with. It’s a special, special group of kids,” Hoiberg said. He says he looks forward to watching the team next year as he says they have a chance to compete for a national title.
The move has been rumored for weeks but Hoiberg said the decision to move on was made in the last few days. Hoiberg said it was the right situation at the right time. “A lot of coaches don’t walk into this, you don’t walk into a roster that has championship potential,” Hoiberg explains.
Hoiberg said he would not have left without the support of his family and says they are ready for the opportunity and says the surgery he had on his heart may’ve played a part in the decision to move on.
Hoiberg believes the transition to the NBA will be a smooth one. “I have always run an NBA type system, again I am not coming into this never having experienced NBA basketball. So, I had 10 years as a player and 4 year sin the front office and all that went into the philosophy that I put together as a coach,” according to Hoiberg.
ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard released this statement on Hoiberg’s move:
“On behalf of Iowa State University, I want to personally thank Fred (Hoiberg) for restoring a proud tradition to Cyclone men’s basketball. When Fred interviewed five years ago, he outlined a plan for how he would bring back the magic to Hilton Coliseum. He certainly delivered on that vision and has built a championship program in the process. We owe him our sincerest thanks. Although Fred’s connections to Iowa State are evident on so many fronts, he has always expressed a desire to coach in the NBA if the right opportunity presented itself. We are happy that he’ll realize his personal dream and wish him success going forward. We’re excited for the future of Iowa State basketball as we have an outstanding group of young men preparing for what should be another terrific season, and we embrace the opportunity to identify a new leader for the Cyclone men’s basketball program. ISU President Steven Leath and I will conduct a national search for a new coach, and we are confident that our basketball program will continue on the upward trajectory it has established. We are energized to capitalize on the momentum of our program as we pursue a new coach at Iowa State.”
As in other coaching searches, the Iowa State Athletics Department will not have further comment on that process until a new coach is introduced.