AMES, IOWA —Three days after Fred Hoiberg was formally introduced as the 19th head coach in Chicago Bulls history Tuesday, he returned to the bowels of Hilton Coliseum to address the local media and talk about his decision and the future.
Hoiberg addressed a variety of topics, including past interest from NBA teams (while referencing one college), his conversations with Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard and why T.J. Otzelberger was brought back as an assistant in April.
Here are three takeaways from Hoiberg's farewell.
11 NBA Teams Showed Interest
Interest in Hoiberg from NBA teams has run rampant following each of Iowa State's last few seasons, and speculation had come and gone in each offseason before he finally departed for Chicago this week.
Despite that interest, Hoiberg has been clear that he wasn't going to leave for just any job. Friday he revealed how much interest he has garnered in recent years.
"There’s been a lot of things out there about, ‘Well, he talked to these teams.’ Well, I’ve counted, 11 teams have called me the last three years and I’ve never really let them get anywhere except for this last one with Chicago," Hoiberg said. "I wouldn’t have left this opportunity for very many situations, Chicago obviously being one of them that I would at least entertain.
"A couple years ago I did talk to another college team, but at that time I realized, and I think if you look at the way my contract was structured, I wasn’t going to leave Iowa State for another college. I realized that at that time that it was so good here and so comfortable here. I wasn’t going to leave this for very many situations."
Hoiberg was rumored to have received interest from Minnesota two years ago. Shortly after, he signed a new contract that upped his buyout for a college job to $2 million and set his NBA buyout at $500,000.
Otzelberger's Return to Iowa State
When T.J. Otzelberger returned as an assistant coach on Hoiberg's staff in April following the departure of Matt Abdelmassih, there was some speculation he might be Hoiberg's replacement. That theory gained steam as Hoiberg prepared to leave and Otzelberger emerged in reports as a top candidate to replace him.
Hoiberg shot down any theories about why Otzelberger returned.
"There’s obviously been rumors that T.J. was brought back to be my replacement. That’s absolutely not true," Hoiberg said. "I brought T.J. back because of a great amount of respect I had for him and the great job that he did for me here when I was early in my coaching career."
Hoiberg's Talks with Pollard
In recent days, Hoiberg has had multiple brief conversations with Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard about next year's team while also offering his input on the Iowa State vacancy.
"I’m fully confident that Jamie is going to make a great hire here at Iowa State with Dr. [Steven] Leath’s help," Hoiberg said. "I know those guys are going to do a thorough search on it and Jamie is going to make a great choice. He’s going to make the right choice for Iowa State not only for Iowa State next season, but for the long term. I think he’s going to do a tremendous job with that."
Hoiberg didn't elaborate on his conversations with Pollard except to reiterate he has complete confidence in Pollard to replace him with a coach who can continue the success of recent seasons.
"Obviously we’ve talked about the roster," he added. "We have talked about that."