Fred Hoiberg’s journey isn’t normal.
And yes, I know that being a coach of any sport is difficult. It’s really a grind. If it goes well you don’t really get any credit. If it goes poorly then you shoulder most of the blame. Transitioning from job to job to find the perfect one takes a lifetime, if that. Coaching isn’t for everyone.
But Hoiberg coached Iowa State to somewhat prominence. The Cyclones aren’t a top flight program, but are relevant every year due to what he accomplished there not so long ago. Yes, Kansas rules the Big-12 conference. Texas and all it’s iterations usually carry more weight than Iowa State. However, if you poll most of the college basketball audience I would guess that most of them have fonder memories of the Cyclones than the Longhorns, Aggies, and Red Raiders combined (well, maybe until this year).
The Chicago Bulls came calling eventually. A rare opportunity for a college coach to prove himself. Unfortunately for Fred it was not a perfect fit. He inherited a team filled with veterans/Jimmy Butler. GarPax (the two-headed monster that runs one of the NBA’s most-prominent franchises) never connected with Hoiberg. Moreover, those Chicago teams were better suited for the prior head coach, Tom Thibodeau. The former Cyclones head coach was predictably fired. And once Tim Miles’ hot seat was extinguished Hoiberg’s services were once again in demand.
On this episode of Good ‘N Plenty Jeff Goodman sits down with the new Nebraska head coach. They chat about building Iowa State, coaching in college vs the NBA, and much more!
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6:49 Was UCLA the wrong fit?
13:21 What makes the switch from college to pros so hard
24:51 Adjusting to a players’ league
30:00 Relationship with Brad Stevens