Fred Hoiberg ushers in a new era for Nebraska basketball, as he was named head coach on March 30, 2019 and formally introduced on April 2, 2019.
Hoiberg brings a distinguished resume to Lincoln that includes four years as an NBA front office executive, four years as an NBA head coach and five years at Iowa State, where he orchestrated the biggest turnaround in Big 12 history in 2011-12 and guided the school to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Hoiberg, who was born in Lincoln, is the 28th coach in the history of Nebraska men’s basketball, a fraternity that includes his grandfather, Jerry Bush, who guided the Husker program for nine seasons from 1955 to 1963.
Following his 10-year NBA playing career, Hoiberg worked in the front office for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, serving as assistant general manager before being promoted to vice president of basketball operations. He left the Timberwolves to get into coaching, accepting the head job at Iowa State, his alma mater. Hoiberg led the Cyclones to four NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of Big 12 Tournament championships in his five seasons. His success in Ames led him back to the NBA as head coach of the Chicago Bulls, where he helped the Bulls to a playoff appearance in his second season.
Hoiberg has experienced incredible success at the collegiate level. He won more games than any other player during his time as a Cyclone guard and then returned to post the top winning percentage of any coach in Iowa State history. He won four NCAA Tournament games at Iowa State – a program record – and developed four players who eventually became NBA Draft picks and four All-Americans in his five seasons.
Chicago Bulls Head Coach: Hoiberg was named an NBA head coach just five years into his coaching career. He led Chicago to immediate success, as the Bulls finished with a 42-40 record in his first year in 2015-16, when Hoiberg became just the fifth coach in franchise history to have a winning record in his debut season. The next season, Hoiberg took Chicago to the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The No. 8 seed Bulls went on the road and won the first two games of a first-round series with the No. 1 seed Boston Celtics, becoming the first No. 8 seed to take a 2-0 lead against a No. 1 seed since the 1993 Los Angeles Lakers. Hoiberg became the fifth coach in NBA history to have each of his first two career playoff victories come on the road. The 2017 playoffs also marked the first time Chicago had won the first two games of a playoff series on the road since the 1993 NBA Finals. Overall, Chicago won more than 40 games in two of Hoiberg’s three full seasons.
Iowa State Head Coach: Hoiberg led a resurgence at his alma mater, leaving a lasting legacy in five seasons. He guided Iowa State to a 115-56 record – including a 99-40 mark in his final four seasons – to post the top winning percentage (.673) in Cyclone history. Hoiberg led Iowa State to a program-record four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, while tying the school record with four NCAA Tournament coaching victories. Hoiberg also posted the top conference winning percentage (.557) in ISU history and guided Iowa State to back-to-back Big 12 Tournament titles in 2014 and 2015.
Hoiberg inherited a Cyclone program that had not made the NCAA Tournament or had a winning conference record in five years. But after just one rebuilding year, Hoiberg guided the Cyclones to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments before leaving for the NBA. His 115 wins were the most by any coach in a five-year span in Iowa State history.
After a 16-16 debut season, Hoiberg led the Cyclones to a 23-11 record and the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. ISU went 12-6 in Big 12 play in Hoiberg’s second season, winning nine more conference games than the previous season to post the biggest one-year turnaround in Big 12 history. Hoiberg was named the Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Hoiberg guided the Cyclones to another 23-win season in his third year, when Iowa State advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. In his fourth season, the Cyclones finished 28-8, won the 2014 Big 12 Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16. In Hoiberg’s final season, Iowa State defended its Big 12 Tournament title and earned a No. 3 seed for the NCAA Tournament.
Hoiberg oversaw one of the nation’s top offenses during his tenure at Iowa State. The Cyclones led the Big 12 with an average of 77.9 points per game in Hoiberg’s final four seasons, ranking in the top 10 nationally in scoring twice in those four seasons. His Cyclones led the Big 12 in 3-pointers in four of his five seasons and in his final season at ISU, his team led the conference in scoring offense (77.8), field goal percentage (.476) assists per game (16.1), turnovers per game (11.0) and 3-pointers per game (7.7).
Hoiberg also excelled at player development at Iowa State, producing four players who were selected in the NBA Draft. He also coached four All-Americans and 12 All-Big 12 players, including 2014 Big 12 Player of the Year Melvin Ejim, in his five seasons at Iowa State.
Minnesota Timberwolves Front Office: After spending the final two seasons of his 10-year NBA career in Minnesota, Hoiberg transitioned into the Timberwolves’ front office. Hoiberg served as the team’s vice president of basketball operations in his final season, overseeing the day-to-day operations of basketball programs including college and pro scouting, salary cap management and NBA Draft preparations. He served as the Timberwolves’ assistant general manager in his first three seasons in the front office, where he helped Minnesota orchestrate a draft-day trade for five-time all-star Kevin Love in 2008.
NBA Playing Career: Hoiberg was a 10-year NBA veteran, playing for the Indiana Pacers (four seasons), Chicago Bulls (four seasons) and Minnesota Timberwolves (two seasons). Hoiberg played in 541 games in his NBA career and was a member of three playoff teams, including a Timberwolves team that reached the 2004 Western Conference Finals. Hoiberg scored 2,944 points in his NBA career, and he was a 40 percent career 3-point shooter. Hoiberg led the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage in his final season in 2004-05 (48.3 percent) and was fourth in 2003-04 (44.2 percent). But, his pro career ended abruptly at the age of 33 after undergoing open-heart surgery to repair an aneurysm in his aortic root. Hoiberg was a second-round pick in the 1995 NBA Draft, when the Indiana Pacers chose him with the 54th overall selection.
Iowa State Playing Career: Hoiberg was a four-year starter at Iowa State from 1991 to 1995. He is a member of the ISU Hall of Fame and his No. 32 jersey was retired in 1997. Hoiberg is also a member of the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame. Hoiberg was a two-time academic All-America selection as a player, including a first-team honoree as a senior. On the court, Hoiberg was recognized as a two-time All-Big Eight selection in addition to being named the 1992 Associated Press Big Eight Freshman of the Year and the 1995 Co-Big Eight Male Athlete of the Year. Hoiberg was also named a third-team All-American as a senior, averaging 19.9 points per game to help the Cyclones win a then-school-record 23 games.
Hoiberg started 123 of his 126 games as a Cyclone with career averages of 15.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. The Iowa State record holder for consecutive made free throws (34) and steals in a game (7), Hoiberg currently ranks fourth on the Cyclones’ all-time scoring chart (1,993 points) and is in the top 10 in five other categories. He made 183 3-pointers in his career and won 78 games, both of which were the most in school history at the time of his graduation.
High School Career: Hoiberg was a standout athlete for Ames High School before remaining in his hometown to attend Iowa State. As a senior, Hoiberg was Iowa’s Mr. Basketball and he was also the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year in football. On the basketball court, Hoiberg averaged 38.1 points per game in six tournament games while leading Ames to a state championship as a senior. On the gridiron, Hoiberg turned down a scholarship offer from Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne to play basketball at Iowa State.
Personal: The son of an Iowa State professor, Hoiberg earned his degree in finance from Iowa State in 1995. He was born in Lincoln on Oct. 15, 1972, and his grandfather, Jerry Bush, was Nebraska’s men’s basketball head coach for nine seasons from 1955 to 1963. Fred and his wife, Carol, have four children: one daughter, Paige; and three sons, Jack and twins Sam and Charlie.
Hoiberg’s Coaching Numbers
- 9 Years of Head Coaching Experience
- 5 Years of Collegiate Head Coaching Experience
- 4 Years of NBA Head Coaching Experience
- 4 Years of NBA Front Office Experience
Hoiberg’s Coaching Stops
- Head Coach, University of Nebraska (First Season in 2019-20)
- Head Coach, Chicago Bulls (2015-19)
- 115-155 record in 3-plus seasons
- Head Coach, Iowa State University (2010-15)
- 115-56 record in 5 seasons
- Vice President of Basketball Operations, Minnesota Timberwolves (2009-10)
- Assistant General Manager, Minnesota Timberwolves (2006-09)
Hoiberg’s Playing Career
- 4-Year Starter at Iowa State (1991-95)
- 10-Year NBA Career
- Indiana Pacers (4 Seasons, 1995-99)
- Chicago Bulls (4 Seasons, 1999-2003)
- Minnesota Timberwolves (2 Seasons, 2003-05)
The Hoiberg File
- Alma Mater: Iowa State (Finance, 1995)
- Wife: Carol
- Daughter: Paige
- Sons: Jack and twins Sam & Charlie