Iowa State Cyclones men’s basketball: Fred Hoiberg becomes candidate for Timberwolves, Knicks openings


To no surprise, Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg is a candidate for both the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves jobs after they lost their head coaches on Monday morning.

Mar 20, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Fred Hoiberg looks on during practice before the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Des Moines Register reports that Hoiberg’s name is in the running for the Timberwolves, along with Tom Izzo from Michigan State and Billy Donovan from Florida.

"Rick Adelman had barely announced his retirement as the coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday morning when replacement speculation immediately included Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, and Florida’s Billy Donovan."

Elsewhere, The Big Lead mentioned Hoiberg in Jason McIntyre’s write-up of who would replace Mike Woodson at New York.

"Currently coaching the Iowa State Cyclones. He’ll be an NBA coach in the next few years, the only question is which forward-thinking GM wants to pull the trigger. I’ll spare you the small town vs big city junk, but echo the last line above on Izzo: The Timberwolves would be crazy not to give The Mayor a serious look."

No disrespect to McIntyre, who’s a fantastic writer at TBL, but sparing us the “small town vs big city junk” is negating an actual reason why Hoiberg is a very unlikely candidate for the Knicks. Also, you can’t assume that Hoiberg will get an NBA job in a couple years. Hoiberg said what the fans want to hear, but he has an unbelievably strong connection to the Ames community growing up here. He may take an NBA job in the next couple years, or 10 years from now, or never. But that’s typical national sportswriter that doesn’t spend more than five minutes on the Iowa State Cyclones.

However, we all agree that if Hoiberg was going to jump to the NBA, a very prominent place would be with the Timberwolves. He worked there before taking the head coaching gig with the Cyclones, and it would be an easy transition. But right after getting a raise earlier this month? And with all these recruits and transfers coming in for the next couple of years? It’s way too soon for Hoiberg to make that jump just yet. Maybe it’s Izzo’s turn to finally jump to the next level, but not The Mayor.

Ultimately, Hoiberg deciding against the NBA would be a shame, because his coaching style is exactly what all 30 NBA teams want. But don’t expect every young stud coach to jump to the pros like Brad Stevens did to the Boston Celtics last year.