"The Mayor" can now be called "The Coach."
Iowa State will introduce legendary Cyclones basketball player Fred Hoiberg as the program's 19th head coach at a 10:30 a.m. news conference today.
It's a move Quad-City-area Cyclones fans find intriguing one day after ISU found itself in the market for its fourth basketball coach in eight years after the departure of Greg McDermott for Creighton.
"Fred Hoiberg is Iowa State basketball in my mind. I am sure many will question his experience as a coach, but it's hard to argue with a guy who spent so much time in the NBA as a player and in the front office," said Matt Wood of Bettendorf, coordinator of Quad-Cities game watch events for the Iowa State Alumni Association.
"Coaching experience or not, he does know the game. If he surrounds himself with an experienced staff, he should be able to at least point the program in the right direction."
Kay Runge, who splits time between Davenport and Des Moines, welcomes a Hoiberg hire.
"I love it, I absolutely love it. The Mayor is back in town," Runge said. "I can't think of a better hire for Jamie Pollard to make. He's given us an Iowa Stater in (football coach) Paul Rhoads and to bring Fred in only makes things even better."
The 37-year-old Hoiberg was working as the vice president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves before agreeing to head a program that has had four straight losing seasons and has not qualified for the NCAA tourney since 2005.
He has worked in the front office for the Timberwolves since the conclusion of a 10-year playing career in the league in 2006, nine months after undergoing successful heart surgery to correct an enlarged aortic root.
Hoiberg spent three seasons as the Timberwolves' assistant general manager before moving into his current position, which includes overseeing day-to-day operations of the organization's pro and college scouting and draft preparations.
He worked briefly at the end of the 2005-06 season as an assistant coach with the Timberwolves, but has no head-coaching experience on his resumé.
That does concern ISU fans to a degree.
"My first thoughts are hesitation because I don't think of Fred as being a coach with a track record," Iowa State alum Kelly Carroll of East Moline said. "... I think ISU needs someone with an established record of success."
One person who isn't worried about Hoiberg's lack of coaching experience is Jim Hallihan, the executive director of the Iowa Games and an assistant on Johnny Orr's staff when Hoiberg played for the Cyclones.
"I think he'd be a great hire. That's my first thought,'' Hallihan said. "I know people say he hasn't coached before, but Fred was a coach on the floor for us in every game he played. He has a great mind for the game and has been a great leader in everything he has done in his life."
Hallihan believes retaining recently-hired assistants Nick Nurse and Jeff Grayer - a former Cyclone - would benefit the program as well.
Nicknamed the "The Mayor" by college teammates who were amazed at how popular Hoiberg was with fans while playing basketball in his hometown of Ames during a career that ran from 1991 to 1995.
Honored as the top prep football and basketball player in Iowa during his senior season at Ames High, Hoiberg continued to enjoy success at Iowa State, where he earned all-Big Eight honors and was selected as the co-winner of the conference's male athlete of the year award. He left ISU as the school's career leader in 3-point field goals and ranked third in scoring and steals.
Hometown: Ames, Iowa
Family: Wife, Carol; Daughter, Paige; Sons, Jack, Charlie and Sam
Education: Graduate, Ames High School, 1991; Bachelor's degree, Iowa State University, 1995
College accolades: Big Eight freshman of the year, 1992; Second-team all-Big Eight selection, 1994; First-team all-Big Eight selection, 1995; all-American selection, 1995; first-team academic all-American selection, 1995
Professional experience: Selected by Indiana, second round, 1995 NBA draft; Played 10 seasons in the NBA (Indiana 1995-99, Chicago 1999-2003, Minnesota 2003-06); Assistant general manager, Minnesota, 2006-09; Vice president of basketball operations, Minnesota, 2009-present