Iowa State Men’s Basketball: Why Fred Hoiberg Will Stay In Ames


Mar 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Fred Hoiberg calls out a play against the Kansas Jayhawks in the second half during the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament at the Sprint Center. Kansas defeated Iowa State 88-73. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been rumors circulating around about Fred Hoiberg and the potential for him to move from Iowa State to another high-profile collegiate coaching position. With previous work in the NBA, there’s even potential to raise a level and coach in the NBA with impending vacancies at the end of the season.

While the head coach is definitely certified to move up to the pro ranks, and that’s definitely the only way he would go if he leaves, his health conditions and overwhelming love for his home has likely planted himself for the long haul in Ames.

Fred Hoiberg grew up in Ames, Iowa, being a quarterback in football and a captain in basketball for Ames High School. He won the State Championship and received Iowa’s “Mr. Basketball” in 1991.

Passing up offers to play anywhere else, Hoiberg played for his hometown Cyclones. In his sophomore season, the nickname “The Mayor” spawned as he received write-in votes during the 1993 mayoral election in Ames. His senior year was Tyrus McGee-esque nailing 89-216 shots from 3-point range, except he started in all 34 games.

Mar 14, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Fred Hoiberg reacts to a call in the second half of the game against the Oklahoma Sooners during the second round of the Big 12 tournament at the Sprint Center. Iowa State won 73-66. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Now he’s returned to the town that loved him, and is currently loving him in a different way. He’s developed a successful system for the Iowa State men’s basketball team, bringing in transfers, attracting solid recruitment, and reaching the third round of the NCAA Tournament in two straight seasons.

Hell, from Adrian Wojnarowski’s piece on Yahoo! Sports, the guy “has long expressed a desire for his children to have a similar upbringing in Ames as he did.”

Even with some Minnesota ties finishing up his NBA playing career and working in the front office with the Minnesota Timberwolves, him making a move to coach either the Minnesota Golden Gophers or UCLA Bruins is completely asinine. He’s not going to give up what he’s grown in one town for all his life just for a little bit of cash somewhere else.

The man could win zero games at Iowa State for the next three years before he’s finally even in the same area code as a hot seat. That, of course, won’t happen as the guy’s been a winner everywhere he’s gone.

With previous work in the NBA, there’s definitely a few professional squads that would give Hoiberg a shot and firmly believes there would be little problem in making the transition from the collegiate level to the pros. It’s likely, considering he’s molded two teams that haven’t had much chemistry together and came up with NCAA Tournament appearances.

That’s the one doubt that should remain for Cyclones fans – does Hoiberg have the desire to take his talents to the NBA?  If so, how soon, and does his health play any factor into it?

Hoiberg had to stop playing after having surgery on an enlarged aortic root of the heart back in 2005. A pacemaker was installed, and “future heart procedures haven’t been ruled out.”

Would that give Hoiberg the reason to jump to the NBA sooner rather than later, or would that keep him in Ames to watch his family grow up in a place he loves?

It’s hard to say for sure, but fans should be able to breathe easily for a while. There’s been no indication that Hoiberg wants to leave, and considering all the ties that he has to the community, it’s hard to imagine watching him go anytime soon.