(AP) — Iowa State has brought back “The Mayor” for a second term in Ames, and the Cyclones are hoping Fred Hoiberg still has the magic touch he displayed so often as a sharp-shooting star at Hilton Coliseum.
Iowa State confirmed the swift and surprising hiring of Hoiberg late Tuesday night after finalizing negotiations with the former Cyclones star.
Hoiberg, known as “The Mayor” during his playing career, replaces Greg McDermott, who left Iowa State after four seasons to take over as coach at Creighton.
Iowa State will formally introduce Hoiberg at a news conference on Wednesday morning — just one day after McDermott was introduced at Creighton.
Terms of Hoiberg’s contract with the Cyclones were not immediately available Tuesday night.
Hoiberg, who was the vice president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, is widely regarded as one of the most popular players in Iowa State history.
A prep star from Ames High, Hoiberg scored nearly 2,000 points for the hometown Cyclones from 1991-95. He spent 10 seasons in the NBA with the Pacers, Bulls and Timberwolves before a heart issue eventually forced him to retire in 2006.
But while Hoiberg was involved in collegiate scouting with Minnesota, he’s never been a head coach. He also inherits a program that has had four straight losing seasons and was hit hard by player defections this spring.
Cyclones star Craig Brackins declared for the NBA draft, and fellow standout Marquis Gilstrap had his appeal for an extra season of eligibility denied by the NCAA. Three others, including starting center Justin Hamilton, have announced plans to transfer.
McDermott, also a native Iowan, led Northern Iowa to three straight NCAA tournaments but couldn’t get the Cyclones moving in the right direction. He went 59-68 in Ames before returning to the Missouri Valley Conference.
Iowa State was expected to contend for a postseason berth last season but finished 15-17.
Hoiberg was one of the players credited for helping create “Hilton Magic,” a term used to describe the Cyclones home gym during its rocking heyday.
There hasn’t been a lot to cheer about in Ames of late, but Iowa State is banking on Hoiberg to resurrect the program and generate some much-needed buzz around a team that’s fallen to the bottom of the Big 12.
By LUKE MEREDITH, AP Sports Writer