Fred Hoiberg’s assistant coaches keep getting plucked away.
Is losing Doc Sadler, who is about to be named the next head coach at Southern Miss, a tough break? For a program that just went to the Sweet 16, absolutely. But it’s also a major positive in the sense that when you win, other programs want your guys. That’s what happened with Bobby Lutz and N.C. State. This occurred last year with longtime Cyclone assistant T.J. Otzelberger and Washington. Now, Sadler will return to the bench as a head coach, which was his goal when he joined Hoiberg’s staff in Ames last summer.
The obvious question: What now for Hoiberg and Iowa State?
Here are a few off the top of the head ideas.
Barret Peery – Had Sadler bolted two weeks ago, the former Indian Hills Community College coach would be the obvious front-runner here. Peery, who is known as one of junior college basketball’s elite coaches over the past decade, recently accepted an assistant coaching position at Arizona State. Because of that, this is a long shot.
T.J. Otzelberger – Would Otzelberger, who was in Ames for the entire Greg McDermott era along with the first three years of Hoiberg’s tenure, consider coming back after spending only one season at Washington? Would Hoiberg want him to come back? Otzelberger left Iowa State to get experience elsewhere in hopes of eventually becoming a head coach. Because of that, I wouldn’t exactly say there is a strong chance of this happening but I wouldn’t write it off completely either.
Bobby Lutz – Kind of the same scenario as Otzelberger. Kind of. But Lutz left Ames to return to North Carolina and be closer to his family. At the time, his father was sick. Unfortunately, his father has sense passed away. Lutz liked Ames a lot. Is a change of scenery in the works now that his family situation is different?
Mark Pope – The current BYU assistant played in the pros with Hoiberg and the two remain good friends to this day. Pope, who also coached at Wake Forest from 2010-11, ended his NBA career in 2005 with the Denver Nuggets. Pope played college ball for two seasons at Washington (1991-93) and two at Kentucky (1994-96). Has solid recruiting ties out west.
Mark Madsen – Another former Hoiberg NBA teammate who is now active in the coaching game. The "Mad Dog" has coaching experience in the NBA D-League and has been on the Lakers’ bench this seaosn in a development role. Seems like a stretch though.
Charlie Henry – Hoiberg speaks often about his admiration for this youngster’s offensive basketball mind. Also, Hoiberg has proven before (with Matt Abdelmassih) that he isn’t afraid to go outside the box and promote an up and comer from his days in the NBA. Henry was promoted as Director of Player Development in April of 2013 after spending time in Ames as a graduate assistant from 2012-13. Henry clearly lacks experience (he’s never recruited before) but clearly what’s going on at Iowa State is not broke. If Hoiberg elects to hire from with in (and not fix it), Henry could be the choice. In fact at this point, I’d call him the early clubhouse leader.
Micah Byars – So could this guy. Iowa State’s current Director of Basketball Operations has been in Ames since the 2011-12 season. The former Florida Gator football player has assistant coaching experience at Chipola College (JUCO) from 2003-05. Byars was a member of the Central Florida coaching staff for six seasons as well.