Even before the Chicago Bulls fired Tom Thibodeau last Thursday, there was already talks and speculation of who their targeted next coach would be. The Bulls GM Gar Forman has had his eyes on Iowa State Head Coach Fred Hoiberg for some time; with all the friction going on between the front office and Thibodeau.
When Hoiberg was a player at Iowa State Forman was on the coaching staff, so the two had already a connection, which made Hoiberg a viable option.
Fred Hoiberg who played 10 years in the NBA; 5 of them with the Bulls from 1999 to 2003, knows the city and the organization has a good idea of things work.
Hoiberg has been the Head Coach at Iowa State since 2010, and has proven that he can turn a program into a winner. Taking the Cyclones to the NCAA tournament 4 straight years, and winning back to back Big 12 tournament championships 2014 and 2015.
Hoiberg flew up to Chicago Monday to meet with Gar Forman and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and a deal was done Monday night. It’s been reported that Hoiberg has agreed to a 5 year $25 million contract. Hoiberg was officially announced as the Bulls coach Tuesday afternoon. Hoiberg told reporters in the press conference, “I love this roster,” Hoiberg said. “I love the versatility of the players, the different lineups that we’re going to be able to play. You can play small, you can play big. You’ve got lineups that I think can really get out and play with pace. You’ve got a great group of veteran players that know how to play…”
When Hoiberg was coaching at Iowa State, he was known for having an up tempo and fast pace offense; a style that could give the Bulls the offensive push that they needed, who struggled at times on the offensive end.
Hoiberg went on to say about Tom Thibodeau, “…I think Tom Thibodeau is an excellent, excellent basketball coach, and I think he instilled a lot of unbelievable qualities in this team that hopefully I can build on.”
Thibodeau, who built the Bulls around Derrick Rose and a defense first structure, put together players with toughness and a defensive mindset. It will be Hoiberg’s job now to provide a team to be able to consistently put points on the board.