Fred Hoiberg flattered by NBA talk but says he's happy at Iowa State
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Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg has been a buzzworthy name when it comes to NBA head coaching openings, including the Timberwolves' current vacancy.
But Hoiberg, who is coming off his fourth season in charge of his alma mater's basketball program, has publicly shrugged off the notion of making the leap to the NBA at this juncture in his career.
Hoiberg, a 10-year NBA veteran and former member of the Timberwolves, didn't waver from that stance during an appearance Monday on the Out of Bounds show on AM-1700 in Des Moines.
Hoiberg said it's flattering to have his name brought up in NBA coaching discussions but insisted he is enjoying his setup at Iowa State.
"I am close with a lot of people in that league," Hoiberg told AM-1700 host Larry Cotlar. "I spent 14 years of my life in that league, 10 as a player and four in the front office. You do develop friendships in that league. It is flattering, but again, I'm really happy here."
Hoiberg elaborated about his bond to Iowa State and his hometown of Ames:
"I'm really happy here," he said. "That's what I've said all along. I love that (Iowa State athletic director) Jamie Pollard took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity to get into this business. It's obviously a very special situation for me here, with my parents and my in-laws being in Ames ... It's great to have family in town. It's so unique that we have that. It's a special situation here. My kids are able to see their grandparents every day if they want to."
"I do get asked about (coaching in the NBA) a lot. It's hard to hide from some of it with social media the way it is now. But the thing I'll tell you is that I am really happy here right now."
After two years as a player for the Wolves, Hoiberg retired in 2006 and joined Minnesota's front office. The Cyclones hired him in 2010, despite a lack of previous coaching experience.
It proved to be a brilliant move as Hoiberg has rejuvenated Iowa State's program, leading the Cyclones to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
Iowa State has done its part to help convince Hoiberg to stay in Ames. In early April, Hoiberg received a $600,000 raise on the 10-year, $20 million contract he signed in March 2013.
Even before Rick Adelman announced his retirement last week, Hoiberg had been rumored and speculated to be a potential candidate for the Wolves' head coaching role.
However, Saunders, who has maintained a close relationship with Hoiberg since coaching him with the Wolves, has publicly nixed the idea of him returning to Minnesota or the NBA at this point.