Players reflect on Fred Hoiberg’s time at Iowa State, support his decision to coach in the NBA


Tiffany Herring/Iowa State Daily

Fred Hoiberg and his players showed support for the ISU football team at the home game against Baylor in 2014. 

Fred Hoiberg’s departure from Iowa State was sure to be bitter sweet. He left a home where he was adored and supported by the ISU fan base, yet he reached his long-term goal of coaching in the NBA.

But there was no bitterness among the players he coached at Iowa State, just support. 

“We’re happy. I can’t put it in any other words, I’m happy for coach Fred,” said guard Naz Long. “This is a move that any coach would dream to do.”

Fred Hoiberg has always had great relationships with all of his players. Many of them looked up to him like a father figure.

“I don’t think it was hard to keep that positivity at all. Coach Hoiberg was like a dad to us,” said forward Georges Niang. “He will always be in contact with us however he can. [We are] all really super excited for him.”

When Hoiberg arrived at Iowa State the team had just finished its 2009-10 campaign with a 15-17 record. He catapulted the program, in just five seasons, into a potentially top-10 team for the 2015-16 season.

“The whole goal of the game is to continuously move forward, and I feel like coach Fred has left a mark on this school that will never be forgotten,” Long said. “And I’m not the only guy on this team that thinks that. I know for a fact our whole team thinks that, [and] I know for a fact our whole team is supportive.”

The players are confident in ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard’s ability to find and hire a leader who can carry on the success that Hoiberg laid the foundation for.

They are also confident that they will compete at a high level without The Mayor at the helm.

“We are going to mesh very well, very quick,” Long said.

The players will waste no time in preparing for another NCAA tournament run in 2015-16.

“We are gonna get in that early work,” Long said. “We are gonna get in the weight room. We are gonna get up our shots. We are gonna continuously do the things we need to do in order to put ourselves in a position to be in Houston next year.”

And Mayor Ann Campbell may have her job back now that The Mayor has left office. However, Niang has another plan in mind.

“Thank God Fred left. There’s a new mayor in town. Tell the people I’m coming,” Niang said jokingly.