Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Fred Hoiberg to UCLA?

I started thinking about that a few weeks ago after the Chicago Bulls canned The Mayor. It makes even more sense, now that Steve Alford is out.

The Pac-12 Conference isn’t the greatest right now — sixth on the latest realtime RPI behind the Big 12, Big Ten, Big East, SEC and ACC. Hoiberg was successful in five seasons at Iowa State. Recruiting isn’t exactly his favorite topic, but he can hire an assistant or two for that.

Yeah, Fred to La-La Land makes a lot of sense.

I even asked Monte Morris last week if he envisioned his former Cyclones coach getting back into college after three-plus seasons with the Bulls. Absolutely, he told me.

READ CYCLONE NEWS FOR FREE: Download the Cyclone Insider app for iPhone, Android and follow us on Facebook.
Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

Hoiberg won’t be awed — or changed — by the bright lights of Hollywood. I doubt that his family would oppose the move — and I know he’d bring a new mindset to the historic program.

Check out UCLA newspaper stories. I challenge you to find anywhere in recaps of recent losses against Belmot, Cincinnati, Ohio State and Liberty where Alford took even partial blame. It was like that when he coached at Iowa, too.

If Hoiberg messed up a game, a strategical move or something else along those lines — he was always secure enough that he’d admit it.

And wouldn’t that be a nice change for UCLA fans, players and administrators.

He never acted as if he was bigger than the program. He didn’t at Iowa State, even though he certainly had the credentials to do it. He won’t at his next coaching stop, either.

And wouldn’t that, too, be a nice change for UCLA fans, players and administrators.

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

He brought the NBA’s isolation offense to Iowa State when athletics director Jamie Pollard gambled on a guy who’d never before coached. It worked to the tune of a 115-56 five-season record, and four NCAA Tournaments. His teams never shied from three-point range. They were always entertaining.

He’s street smart. He’s book smart. In June 2016, Hoiberg was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame, a prestigious club sponsored by college sports information directors across the country. Here's a sample at the list of names Hoiberg joined:

Danny Ainge, former Sen. Bill Bradley, Drew Brees, Cris Collinsworth, Joe Girardi, Bernie Kosar, Rebecca Lobo, John Paxson, Dave Rimington, John Stockton, Joe Theismann, Pat Tillman, Bill Walton, John Wooden and Steve Young.

Bill Walton. John Wooden. UCLA basketball legends.

Interesting.

While Hoiberg doesn’t always relish life on the recruiting trail, his resume is something worth dangling — former NBA player, former NBA executive and former NBA coach.

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

“He can recruit with that resume of his,” Georges Niang once told me while he was starring for Hoiberg-coached Iowa State teams. “Fred knows what it takes to get guys into the league.”

But what if he still has the urge to coach in the NBA? No problem. It’s not like he’ll fall off the NBA radar after a few seasons in Westwood.

He has no NCAA baggage. He’s squeaky clean. He’s personable. He’s engaging — whether it’s to someone he knows, or someone he doesn’t know.

For so many reasons, Mayor to UCLA makes a lot of sense.

Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been with the Register for parts of five decades. Randy writes opinion and analysis of Iowa State football and basketball. You can reach Randy at rpeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter at @RandyPete.

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

 

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE