Fred Hoiberg – a favorite son and native of Ames, a Cyclone basketball legend, a 10-year NBA veteran and former executive with the Minnesota Timberwolves – was introduced April 28, 2010 in front of a packed audience in the Jacobson Athletic Building as the 19th head men’s basketball coach in Iowa State University history.
In just three years, The Mayor has resurrected his alma mater into a force on the national level, orchestrating the biggest turnaround in Big 12 history in 2011-12 and guiding the Cyclones to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances (2012 and 2013) for the first time since 2000 and 2001.
The Iowa State Athletics Department affirmed the success of Hoiberg by agreeing to a 10-year, $20 million deal to keep Hoiberg on the bench at Hilton Coliseum through 2023.
Despite losing its top-three scorers from 2011-12, Hoiberg led ISU to a fourth-place finish in the Big 12 (11-7) and a 23-12 overall mark in 2012-13. It marked just the second time in school history where the Cyclones posted back-to-back 10-win seasons in league play.
Led by four All-Big 12 performers, including Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Will Clyburn, the Cyclones earned their 15th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history in 2013, defeating Notre Dame in the second round. ISU defeated three ranked teams and posted the sixth-best all-time winning percentage in Hilton Coliseum at 16-1.
Picked to finish eighth in the 2011-12 Big 12 preseason poll, Hoiberg’s Cyclones responded by tying for third in the Big 12, amassing 23 wins overall and going 12-6 in league play, a +9 conference-win improvement from the previous season. The 23 wins tied for the fourth-most in school history and the 12 conference victories is the third-best total in the Iowa State record book.
Hoiberg significantly upgraded the talent in the Sukup Basketball Complex and his team responded by producing one of the finest seasons in school history. The Cyclones earned a berth in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, ending a six-year drought, and appeared in the Associated Press’ top-25 for the first time since 2005. The Cyclones dethroned defending national champion Connecticut in the second round of the NCAA Championship before falling to No. 1 seed and eventual national champion Kentucky.
Other highlights of the 2011-12 season were: two wins over top-10 opponents (Kansas and Baylor) and tying the school record for most conference home victories with eight.
At season’s end, the awards and honors poured in. Hoiberg was named 2012 Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year and four Cyclones earned all-conference recognition, the most since 2001. Royce White was named All-Big 12 First-Team as well as the National Newcomer of the Year by the Basketball Times after leading the team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment in Hoiberg’s successful tenure at ISU is the re-birth of “Hilton Magic.” Fans are coming out in droves to watch the Cyclones play, selling out Hilton Coliseum 11 times, averaging over 13,000 fans per game and ranking in the top-25 nationally in the last two seasons. Hoiberg strung together a 22-game homecourt winning streak, the third-best active streak in the nation when it ended and tying for the second-best streak in school history.
With an exciting, up-tempo style, Hoiberg’s squads have ranked among the nation’s top-50 in scoring in his first three seasons, including ranking third nationally in 2012-13 at 79.4.
Building teams surrounded by outstanding shooters has also become a Hoiberg trademark. The top-three single-season 3-pointers made totals have been achieved under his watch, including a school- and Big 12-record 346 treys set in 2013, as the Cyclones led the nation in 3-pointers per game at 9.9. Nine of the top 11 single-game 3-pointers made efforts in school history have also occurred in the three-year Hoiberg era.
One of Hoiberg’s top shooters, Tyrus McGee, became the first Cyclone to lead the nation in statistical category when McGee made 46.4 percent of his 3-point shots in 2012-13.
Hoiberg has coached eight players who have earned All-Big 12 recognition, including White, who became just the fifth Cyclone in Big 12 history to earn first-team all-league honors by the conference coaches. White was named honorable mention All-American in 2012 and was the 16th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
In his first season with the Cyclones (2010-11), Hoiberg inherited a team unanimously picked to finish last in the Big 12 with just two returnees from the season before. The rookie coach wasted little time implementing his system and instilling his philosophies, as the Cyclones raced out to a 13-2 start, the second-best beginning by a first-year Cyclone coach with two losses.
Hoiberg’s Cyclones surprised many in his rookie campaign, finishing the year with a 16-16 mark, the first .500 or above record by an Iowa State team since 2005-06. Basketball Times recognized Hoiberg’s work in his first season, naming him the 2011 National Rookie Coach of the Year.
The Cyclones have also excelled in the classroom in The Mayor’s term in office. Three of the best cumulative semester GPAs in the program’s history have been obtained under Hoiberg. For the first time in school history, the Cyclones as a team achieved a cumulative 3.0 GPA in the spring semester of 2011. The Cyclones had a league-best four players earn Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2011-12, including three members on the first-team (Scott Christopherson, Melvin Ejim, Bubu Palo).
Hoiberg spent the 2009-10 season in his first year as Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, a role in which he oversaw day-to-day operations of the basketball program including college and pro scouting, salary cap management and NBA Draft preparations. Prior to that, he worked three years as the club’s assistant general manager.
It was Hoiberg’s play at Hilton Coliseum in the 1990s, however, that endeared him to Cyclone fans. One of the school’s most-admired competitors, Hoiberg averaged 15.8 points and is the school’s third all-time leading scorer (1,993 points).
Part of Hoiberg’s introduction to Cyclone basketball was as one of the school’s first ball boys. In a game against Windsor in 1986, then ISU-star Jeff Hornacek landed on Hoiberg, sprained his ankle and missed the rest of the game. “Injuring the best player in school history wasn’t how I wanted to be remembered,” Hoiberg said later. Rest assured, his personal story soon turned for the better.
The versatile and heady guard/forward, who grew up in Ames, was called “The Mayor” by his teammates. As his popularity skyrocketed on campus and in his hometown, people started calling him simply “Fred” or “the Mayor” and you knew who they were talking about. That nickname was, apparently, appropriate evidenced by the fact he received multiple write-in votes in the 1993 Ames mayoral race.
The Cyclones won 78 games and played in three NCAA Tournaments in his career. Hoiberg’s sweet stroke from long distance may have been his calling card, but his overall game was outstanding and fundamentally sound.
He played in 126 career games (the first three years for Coach Johnny Orr and the last one for Coach Tim Floyd) with the Cyclones and was a major contributor each year.
As a rookie, he earned AP Big Eight Freshman of the Year honors after scoring 12.1 ppg and establishing a school record with 34 consecutive made free throws. That Cyclone club made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1989.
In his second season, Hoiberg’s role changed slightly and he was the top rebounder (6.3 rpg), despite standing just 6-foot-4, for another post-season team.
Hoiberg averaged 20.2 points per game, ranked in the conference’s Top 10 in seven categories and was named second-team All-Big Eight as a junior.
In his senior season and second year as team captain, he led the Cyclones to a then-school record 23 wins and the NCAA Tournament’s second round. Hoiberg averaged 19.9 ppg on the way to All-America and first-team all-league honors. He was named co-Big Eight Male Athlete of the Year.
Hoiberg had many memorable games as a Cyclone. He poured in 32 points, including a remarkable 17 straight in the second half, of a 69-65 upset of third-ranked Kansas in 1995. Later that season, Hoiberg tallied a career-best 41 points in a conference win over Colorado. His three-point play (layup and then the game-winning free throw) with 9.4 seconds left helped ISU defeat second-ranked Oklahoma State 84-83 in overtime in 1992.
The contributions that Hoiberg made to both his school and home city have been recognized many times. His jersey #32 was retired by ISU in 1997 and hangs in the rafters at Hilton Coliseum. Hoiberg was inducted into the Iowa State Letterwinners’ Hall of Fame in 2005 and recognized as part of the men’s basketball program’s All-Century team in 2008. On Feb. 9, 1997, Mayor Larry Curtis proclaimed it to be “Fred Hoiberg Day” during a Cyclone game.
Hoiberg was a second-round NBA draft pick (52nd overall) by the Indiana Pacers in 1995. He was also chosen #1 overall (by the Cedar Rapids Silver Bullets) in the 1995 CBA draft that year, but he joined the Pacers (where he played four seasons) to begin a decade long NBA career.
He also played for the Chicago Bulls (four years) and Minnesota Timberwolves (two years) and scored 2,944 points in 541 regular-season games. Hoiberg connected on a league-best 48.3 percent of his three-point shots in 2004-05 with Minnesota. 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 considered a comeback but, ultimately, accepted an administrative post with the Timberwolves.
Hoiberg readily admits his experiences in the NBA – playing for coaches such as Larry Brown and Larry Bird at Indiana, Tim Floyd in Chicago and Flip Saunders and Kevin McHale with Minnesota – helped shape his coaching beliefs.
As a prep, Hoiberg starred in both basketball and football at Ames High School. He was named Iowa’s Mr. Basketball as well as Gatorade’s State Player of the Year in football as a quarterback. Hoiberg led the Little Cyclones to the 1991 state high school basketball championship and averaged 38.1 points in six tournament games. In 2012, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) inducted Hoiberg into its national Hall of Fame.
Hoiberg earned his finance degree from Iowa State University in 1995. He was a first-team academic All-American as a senior, a second-team pick as a junior and a three-time honoree on the Big Eight All-Academic team. There was certainly an academic background in his family as both of his parents – dad (Eric) at Iowa State and mom (Karen) in elementary school – had teaching careers.
Fred and his wife, Carol, met in high school and attended Iowa State together. They are the parents of four children (Paige, Jack and twins Sam and Charlie).
Hoiberg Career Highlights
Iowa State Player (1992-95)
- 1992 Big Eight Freshman of the Year
- Was dubbed "The Mayor" by former Cyclone Doug Collins, who marveled at the immense popularity of Hoiberg.
- As a junior in 1994, finished in the top-10 in seven of eight Big Eight statistical categories
- Second-Team All-Big Eight as a junior in 1994
- Second-Team CoSIDA/GTE Academic All-American in 1994
- First-Team All-Big Eight in 1995
- First-Team CoSIDA/GTE Academic All-American in 1995
- Scored a career-high 41 points vs. Colorado in 1995
- Third-team All-American in 1995
- Ranked third in the Big Eight in scoring (19.9 ppg) and first in free-throw percentage (86.1) in 1995
- 1995 Big Eight Co-Male Athlete of the Year
- 1995 Iowa State Male Athlete of the Year
- ISU's record-holder for consecutive free throws made at 34
- Scored 1,993 points, the third-most in school history
- Ranks fourth in career 3-pointers (183)
- Ranks sixth in career 3-point percentage (40.0)
- Three-time first-team academic all-Big Eight honoree
- Played in three NCAA Tournaments
-MVP at the 1995 NABC All-Star game
- Drafted No. 52 in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers
- Played four seasons (1996-99) with the Pacers and four seasons with the Chicago Bulls (2000-03)
- Resurrected career after trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2003, shooting 44.2 pct. from 3-point range
- Hoiberg and the T-Wolves advanced to the 2004 NBA Western Conference finals
- Led the NBA in 3-point percentage (48.3) in 2005
- Ended his NBA career in 2005 after 10 seasons because of a heart ailment, playing for legendary coaches such as Larry Brown, Larry Bird, Flip Saunders and Kevin McHale
- Spent three years as assistant general manager for the Timberwolves (2006-09)
- In 2009, he was promoted to Vice President for Basketball Operations for the Timberwolves
Iowa State Head Coach (2011-)
- Coached at the 2013 Reese’s College All-Star Game
- 2012 Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year
- Led ISU to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments (2012 & 2013)
- Directed Iowa State to 12 conference wins in 2012, the third-best total in school history.
- Coached eight all-conference players in three seasons
- Posted a 22-game homecourt winning streak, tying for the 2nd-best string in school history.
- 2011 Basketball Times’ National Rookie Coach of the Year
Post-Playing Career Honors And Awards
- His No. 32 jersey was retired by Iowa State in 1997
- Inducted into Iowa State's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005
- Inducted into Iowa H.S. Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006
- Named to Iowa State's All-Century Team in 2008
- Inducted into NFHS National H.S. Hall of Fame in 2012
- Earned the Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA) Award by the Jaycees in 2012
Fred Hoiberg Coaching Ledger
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