Exclusive: Fred Hoiberg on why he hired Doc Sadler

The speculation is finally over. Fred Hoiberg made it official on Friday morning that he has hired Doc Sadler as an assistant coach at Iowa State. To view Iowa State’s press release on the story, CLICK HERE. 

Shortly after the news broke, Cyclone Fanatic got in touch with Hoiberg to discuss the news. Here is that exclusive Q&A. 

CF: When you found out that T.J. Otzelberger was moving on to Washington, was Doc Sadler a guy who came to your mind immediately as far as a replacement?

FH: Well you know the thought that entered my mind was that I wasn’t just replacing T.J. but I was replacing Jeff Rutter as well, who was such an important part of our staff. Looking back on my coaching career so far starting with Bobby Lutz, a guy that brought so much experience that was so important to my development in that first year. When he went to North Carolina State to be closer to his family and specifically his father, Jeff Rutter kind of filled that spot, being a head coaching voice as somebody who could help me as a young guy. He had been in the chair making decisions and he really helped me with that. So it wasn’t just replacing T.J. It was replacing Jeff as well. 

That is where Doc is so attractive. He’s got 30 years of coaching experience. He was a head coach in the Big 12 Conference. He had two great years as a head coach at UTEP. Then he was a head coach at a junior college where he was very successful. That’s the big thing and where Doc became so attractive to me. I looked at quite a few guys. Some had other qualities that were very attractive but from a total package and what Doc Sadler brings to the table, not ony is he a head coach but he has recruited at every level. Talking to him, he is really excited about getting back on the road and going out and maybe opening some doors that haven’t been open to Iowa State basketball in the past.

CF: Where exactly are those recruiting areas where Doc will help out? I know he has a lot of connections in Texas. I’ve heard Chicago too…

FH: Absolutely. He is very well respected in junior college. A lot of those guys who are coaching in junior college now played for Doc or worked for Doc. That is an area obviously where we recruit very hard. We will have four of them on our team this year. That is something again that was attractive about Doc. He brings that niche that obviously has been very important to us. 

CF: How much did the fact that he has been coaching in the Big 12 since 2006 play into your decision? I mean, he obviously knows these teams and programs that you’ll be going up against. 

FH: Yeah and that played a factor as well – probalby not as much as the other parts but it certainley helps that he knows the league. He has scouted the league. I know that he and Bill Self watched film together pretty much daily. He helped put game plans together for them so that is important as well.

The other thing that I am excited about is the other guys that I have got with Cornell (Mann) and Matt (Abdelmassih), I am very comfortable with those guys. They have done a great job and they will continue to do a great job. I think it is going to be a really good staff. 

CF: We have covered recruiting so now the question is, the day that you guys can start working with the team and practice begins, from a pure coaching standpoint, how will Doc Sadler make your program better?

FH: I think that from A to Z, what Doc brings from his knowledge of the game to the fact that I thought that he always got a lot out of his players at Nebraska. When you prepared for them, you knew that you would be in for a hard fought battle. They were always very physical and played extremely hard. He gets a lot out of guys. The fact that he brings recruiting ties is important too. It’s the entire package of what he brings to the table that will be very beneficial.