CSR talks with Coach Hoiberg Part I

Cyclone Sports Report recently went one-on-one with Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg. In part one of our discussion Fred talks about such topics as what he learned from Johnny Orr as a coach, how important leadership will be in his program, and whether he actually likes being called the "Mayor".

Cyclone Sports Report: You have now been a head coach for about two months. Does it feel weird to hear the words "Coach Hoiberg"?

Coach Hoiberg: Yeah, I'm still trying to get used to it. I can't believe it has been almost two months but really everyone has been so great to me as the new coach at Iowa State. I had a great time on the Cyclone tour and it's just a great opportunity that I was given. To go from being a ball boy to a player and now to be able to coach all at Iowa State is really amazing.

Cyclone Sports Report: You used to have to break down players abilities for your job with the Minnesota Timberwolves. How much has that helped you with recruiting?

Coach Hoiberg: I've really been watching a lot of film and the experience has absolutely been to my advantage. Everything I have experienced in my past is really helping me out. My experience in having played here at Iowa State, my NBA playing career, and my five years in management have all helped me in some aspect with coaching.

Cyclone Sports Report: How excited are you to have the new practice facility?

Coach Hoiberg: In regards to practice facilities go it's as nice as I have ever seen. I just wish I had it when I had played here. I would have loved to be able to go and put up shots at midnight anytime I wanted to throughout my career. We played pretty much at the Recreational Center and State Gym. Now it's a lot different and it is really a lot of fun to come to work every morning at this new facility.

Cyclone Sports Report: What did you learn from Johnny Orr that will help you as a coach?

Coach Hoiberg: The first thing would have to be how he connected with people. He just had a great connection with the fans throughout his career here at Iowa State. The second thing would be how he got everyone to buy in to his style and to accept their roles. The other thing is that I really liked playing in his up tempo style and I plan on having our team play up tempo also. To be honest with you, I talk with Johnny now more than I had as a player or executive. We have had a lot of great talks.

Cyclone Sports Report: Soon after you were named head coach you had to deal with an incident involving Charles Boozer. Was that kind of your welcome to becoming a head coach at the collegiate level?

Coach Hoiberg: Yeah, that was a real unfortunate situation. I think Charles handled it the right away in that I think it was for the best that he get some help and that he look for a fresh start.

Cyclone Sports Report: Do you like being called the "Mayor"?

Coach Hoiberg: I think I've been called that since I was 15 years old and to be honest I have really enjoyed it. Even after I left Iowa State it was still with me throughout my career. I would be down in Houston playing a game and I would see a sign that said "Welcome Mayor to Houston". For me it has been a positive in my life.

Cyclone Sports Report: When you were playing at Iowa State were you hoping that one day you would be able to come back and coach here?

Coach Hoiberg: No, my dream was to play in the NBA. After several years in the NBA, I realized that I wanted to stay in basketball in some capacity. I was in a great situation in Minnesota and once the Iowa State job opened up I evaluated the situation and realized it would be great to go back and coach at Iowa State.

Cyclone Sports Report: You were always a mild mannered player both in college and the NBA. What are the chances that we will see you get a technical foul as a head coach?

Coach Hoiberg: Oh it's probably just a matter of time. I never had one as a player but that could change as a head coach.

Cyclone Sports Report: How does each member of your staff help you as a head coach?

Coach Hoiberg: Well in talking with people who I trust I was told that who I surround myself with as a head coach is probably the most important thing that I need to do. The first thing I wanted to do was keep T.J. (Otzelberger). He's really been awesome in bringing talent here to Iowa State. Now it's up to me to put them in the right position to succeed on the court. Jeff Rutter is as organized a person as I have ever seen and he is going to be a huge help for me. Jeff Grayer is a guy who I feel is the best player in Iowa State history and he will be a tremendous asset for me as a coach. Recently I brought in Coach Bobby Lutz and he brings a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge that I will lean on and he's a guy that has won almost 400 games so he knows a lot about success. Bryan Petersen is a graduate assistant that I really think has great potential in this business. Lastly, I brought Matt Abdelmassiah with me from the Timberwolves. He had done a great job for me there and he will be Assistant Director of Operations next to Jeff Rutter.

Cyclone Sports Report: You were considered a leader by example during your playing days at Iowa State. How important is it to look for leadership qualities in players that you recruit to Iowa State?

Coach Hoiberg: I think it's huge and some of the guys we have here have already shown me that they have some key leadership skills. Our young guys are really going to need to lean on Scott (Christopherson), Diante (Garrett), and Jamie (Vanderbeken). It's really important that they police themselves at times. Good teams always have leaders that do those kind of things. I also feel some of our young guys can step up and do this in the future. I really feel Melvin (Ejim) has those qualities and that we need to keep bringing players into the program that also possess those traits.

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