COMMENTARY: Ames elects ‘The Mayor’

COMMENTARY: Ames elects ‘The Mayor’

COMMENTARY: Ames elects ‘The Mayor’

Jeremiah Davis

Cancel the upcoming elections: “The Mayor” will return to Ames to coach his alma mater.

On Tuesday, Fred Hoiberg was named the next head coach of the ISU men’s basketball team.

In the words of Joe Biden: It’s a big [freaking] deal.

ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard was faced with a daunting task after the weekend, as it seemed the proverbial basketball house was burning down around him.

Current players, recruits and coaches were all gone.

It was beginning to look like there wouldn’t be a program left.

But a man who finished his career as the third-leading scorer in ISU men’s basketball history and played 10 seasons in the NBA has been given the task of putting out the fire.

“This is the best thing that’s happened to [ISU men’s basketball] in a long time,” senior guard Charles Boozer said in an interview with a Daily staff writer.

The next coach for men’s basketball had to be the right person.

It had to be someone the fans could really get behind and someone the players could trust.

It had to be someone who really wanted to be here and wouldn’t skip town like certain other coaches the minute a better position came along.

With Hoiberg, the embattled Pollard made a slam dunk.

Pollard wasted no time filling Greg McDermott’s vacant seat, and brought in one of the most popular players in the program’s history.

The hiring of Hoiberg will put fans in the seats, regardless of the talent level of the team.

On top of that, Hoiberg will be given every benefit of the doubt.

Even if he gets off to a slow start, fans will give him the leeway McDermott wasn’t given.

The hire also does is all but ensure Jeff Grayer, another all-time Cyclone great, will stay on the coaching staff.

And, who knows, maybe the hire even keeps potential transfer players around.

Chris Colvin, who announced earlier this month that he intended to transfer, has begun to reconsider.

He said he hasn’t changed his mind on the transfer officially, but that he is considering it.

If Hoiberg can hold on to Colvin, he brings back a scoring threat the Cyclones desperately need.

The “style of play” that Colvin obviously disliked with McDermott is gone, and, as Colvin said, “Whatever happens, it will be a new beginning for me.”

The comparisons to the hiring of Paul Rhoads are inevitable.

He’s a local guy who genuinely cares about the university and wants to see it succeed over the long run, not just now.

He, like Rhoads, breathes new life into a program that’s been on life support for years.

It’s the best possible scenario anyone rooting for Iowa State could ask for.

And as for the outlook for success with Hoiberg at the helm, there may not be immediate results, but don’t be surprised if “The Mayor” returns his former team to the glory days it saw when he was here.

People worry about his experience, but if you ask anyone who watched him play or who played with him, he acted as a coach on the floor throughout his career.

At the end of the day, Hoiberg being named the 19th coach in Iowa State men’s basketball history has gotten people immediately excited about ISU basketball again.

That’s something you couldn’t say 24 hours ago.

So here’s to you, Jamie Pollard, for making Cyclone fans smile again.

Jeremiah Davis is a sophomore in journalism