It's official: Fred Hoiberg is back in the college game, this time at Nebraska

Randy Peterson
The Des Moines Register

The worst kept secret in college basketball is finally a done deal: Fred Hoiberg is returning to the college ranks — this time in the town he was born in and with a program his grandfather once coached.

The former Iowa State player and coach signed a seven-year, $25 million contract Saturday to become Nebraska’s coach. An introductory press conference is planned for 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg reacts to a play against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at the United Center.

“I can’t express how excited I am to be back on the sidelines, and to be coaching at a university that means a lot to my family and me," Hoiberg said in a statement released by the university. “Lincoln is a special place for our family.

"I was born in Lincoln, my grandfather, Jerry Bush, was the head coach at Nebraska, my other grandfather was a long-time professor there, and my parents are proud graduates of the University of Nebraska. Nebraska has always felt like a second home."

In the news release, Hoiberg noted that he coached his last team, the Chicago Bulls, in an exhibition game at Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena and said the Cornhuskers have facilities "as nice as any in the country."

"When you couple that with a loyal and passionate fan base, you can see there is great potential for the future of Nebraska basketball," Hoiberg adds.

Hoiberg, 46, was fired by Chicago during the fourth season of a five-year contract. His five-year coaching resume at Iowa State included a 115-56 record, four NCAA Tournament appearances, and a Sweet 16.

Reports started surfacing long before former Cornhuskers coach Tim Miles was officially fired on Tuesday that Hoiberg was next in line.

“We are excited to welcome Fred, his wife Carol, and their family to Nebraska," Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos said in a release. "He will be an outstanding representative of the university, and a great leader for our men’s basketball program.

“When you look at him, you see an individual who has had success as a player and a coach. Fred’s background will sell itself on the recruiting trail, and help us bring in the type of student-athletes needed to compete at the highest level. His style of play not only will be appealing to prospective recruits, but will also provide our great fans an entertaining brand of basketball.”

Hoiberg will bring some of his former Iowa State staff to Lincoln, including chief recruiter Matt Abdelmassih, who most recently was an assistant coach at St. John's.