Fred Hoiberg

Fred Hoiberg to Nebraska is gaining steam: 'It's firm and final'

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USA TODAY

Fred Hoiberg to Nebraska is gaining steam: 'It's firm and final'

Tim Miles is still the head coach at Nebraska and he coached the Cornhuskers in the NIT Wednesday night, but Fred Hoiberg is already being reported as his replacement.

After a previous report said the former Bulls coach was going to be the frontrunner for the expected opening in Lincoln, a new report from writer Lars Anderson says Hoiberg is going to get the job after all.

The Athletic's college basketball insider Stewart Mandel gave some credence to Anderson's track record.

Hoiberg was fired by the Bulls on Dec. 3 and has recently been seen supporting Michigan State basketball, where his son is a redshirt freshman walk-on, at the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. If Hoiberg takes the job, he would be coaching against his son in the Big Ten.

While Hoiberg grew up in Ames, Iowa, which led to him playing and coaching at Iowa State, he was born in Lincoln, Neb.

With Hoiberg rumors and reports floating around, a lot of eyes were on Nebraska's NIT game against Butler. Miles was on the sideline and got a win with plenty of speculation about his successor already taking place.

 

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Fred Hoiberg enjoying family life with an eye on a return to basketball

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USA TODAY

Fred Hoiberg enjoying family life with an eye on a return to basketball

 

Ames Tribune sports editor Travis Hines wrote a story this week detailing what Fred Hoiberg has been up to since being let go by the Bulls in early December. And from the picture painted in Hines' piece, Hoiberg has been adjusting quite well to life after basketball but still has his mind on an NBA job, whether it be in the front office or on the sidelines.

Hoiberg has been linked to many different coaching jobs since his exit from the Bulls, including UCLA and the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA. And while past reports have indicated that he would only be interested in coaching jobs, Hoiberg stated the exact opposite in his interview with Hines, saying "If the right front office opportunity did come around, I would potentially look at that" and further elaborating that the idea of returning to the front office crossed his mind as soon as he was let go by the Bulls.

When breaking down how non-basketball things are going, it seems that Hoiberg is enjoying being in the day-to-day groove of family life.

These days you can catch Hoiberg taking his kids to and from events, watching and discussing the Real Housewives reality TV series with his wife and her friends and occasionally dabbling in some yoga. So while a return to basketball seems likely, Hoiberg is certainly in no rush.

In recent weeks, Hoiberg has been active on the basketball scene, reflecting on his career while learning the methods of others along the way. He was welcomed back to Iowa State by new head coach Steve Prohm and spoke to the Cyclones on Monday, then attended their game against Baylor on Tuesday. This specifically was an awesome experience for "The Mayor", who said that the last time he watched an Iowa State game as a fan before Tuesday was "probably when I was being recruited by Iowa State", in the late 80s.

Outside of his time in Ames, Hoiberg has spent time with the Golden State Warriors coaching staff and with Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. This is all a part of Hoiberg taking his "opportunity to grow as a coach".

Throughout his first extended break from basketball, Hoiberg has gotten to do things that were hard to make time for, such as take multiple trips to see his son Jack at Michigan State or taking his wife on (what would normally be) a midseason vacation. So despite the disappointment of things not working out in Chicago, Hoiberg is optimistic about the future.

We only have a short amount of time before the NCAA basketball tournament/NBA Draft cycle is in full swing, and if all these reports are any indication, we could be seeing Fred Hoiberg back in the mix, making important decisions for an organization very soon. But there is no need for anyone to worry about Hoiberg for now, "I’ve never really had this time, especially this time of year to be able to spend quality time and be able to watch the boys play all their games.....it’s been nice spending quality time with the family.”

Boylen: Fred Hoiberg 'absolutely' deserves an NBA head coaching opportunity

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USA TODAY

Boylen: Fred Hoiberg 'absolutely' deserves an NBA head coaching opportunity

Not long after the Bulls fell to 10-30 on the season with a 17 point loss to the Nets and shortly before Bears fans hearts were broken on a missed field goal, ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski slipped this surprising tweet out.

Feel free to read through the comments if you need a Monday "pick me up." Timberbulls trolling is on full display. 

However, Bulls fans should be able to empathize with an organization that has had three different coaches in the last four years. And a guy who's seen it and lived it more than most players five years into their career, is Zach Lavine. The Bulls guard, who spent his first three seasons in the league with Minnesota, saw three coaching changes in that time. He's now seen two with the Bulls and Monday after practice shared his thoughts on the current situation with his former team.

"That was unexpected," LaVine said. "Especially, because they just beat a couple teams by 20. But, there was a lot of things going on over there and you know... it's the NBA man, you start seeing that a lot."

Meanwhile Hoiberg, who was fired after a 5-19 start to the Bulls season, appears to have some nice options in front of him.  Whether it's in the NBA or getting back into the college scene, where his name has been linked to UCLA, Hoiberg will get another shot at this head coaching thing. And, that is something Bulls head coach Jim Boylen thinks he very much deserves.

"Absolutely, absolutely," Boylen said. "Absolutely, he does. The best coaches at every level have been let go. I mean, you can list them. I could list them. I learned a ton when I was let go at Utah. I learned a ton and grew a bunch and that's what it's about. So, you take your moments at this level and you learn and you grow and then if it doesn't work out with you where you're at, you move to the next one. It's a tough thing about the Thibodeau thing, I feel bad for him. It's hard to be let go and if you've been let go you really understand it. But, you're also excited for a guy to get his opportunity. It's a difficult thing on everybody."

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