Fred Hoiberg’s second goodbye to Iowa State is now complete.
Tuesday afternoon, “The “Mayor” was formally introduced as the Chcago Bulls’ head coach during a news conference.
So Hoiberg handled one big-time “hello,” as well.
“We’re ready for this opportunity,” Hoiberg told reporters, speaking for his family — wife, Carol; daughter, Paige; and sons, Jack, Charlie and Sam.
Hoiberg, according to numerous reports, agreed to a five-year deal worth roughly $25 million to coach the Bulls.
“I love this roster,” Hoiberg said of a team that includes Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol and another of Ames’s favorite sons, Doug McDermott.
Before Hoiberg talked about the Bulls he thanked the Iowa media.
He thanked everyone at Iowa State, particularly athletics director Jamie Pollard, who gave him his first shot as a head coach over five years ago. He thanked his family, especially Carol, whom he called his “rock.” Then he thanked his players — both current and former.
Hoiberg’s convinced the 2015-16 team that he leaves behind can achieve great things.
“I’m excited to see them hopefully compete for a national championship,” Hoiberg said.
The former Ames High and Iowa State star also reiterated that the decision to leave was wrought with emotion.
“I even talked to Carol a couple days ago,” Hoiberg said. “‘Are we making the right decision?’”
Ultimately, the answer was yes.
Hoiberg said goodbye to what he calls the best fans in college athletics and hello to what he called the best sports city in the country.
“A lot of coaches don’t walk into this,” Hoiberg said of taking over a team that reached the Eastern Conference semifinals this season. “You don’t walk into a roster that has championship potential, that absolutely can compete at that level.”
His successor at ISU will walk into the same situation.
Pollard released a statement during Hoiberg’s introductory news conference that noted a search for the Cyclones’ next coach will be handled as previous ones. In other words, no comment until a deal is cemented.
He also said the following about Hoiberg and the program he helped revitalize:
“On behalf of Iowa State University, I want to personally thank Fred (Hoiberg) for restoring a proud tradition to Cyclone men’s basketball,” Pollard noted in the statement. “When Fred interviewed five years ago, he outlined a plan for how he would bring back the magic to Hilton Coliseum. He certainly delivered on that vision and has built a championship program in the process. We owe him our sincerest thanks.
“Although Fred’s connections to Iowa State are evident on so many fronts, he has always expressed a desire to coach in the NBA if the right opportunity presented itself. We are happy that he’ll realize his personal dream and wish him success going forward.
“We’re excited for the future of Iowa State basketball as we have an outstanding group of young men preparing for what should be another terrific season, and we embrace the opportunity to identify a new leader for the Cyclone men’s basketball program.
“ISU President Steven Leath and I will conduct a national search for a new coach, and we are confident that our basketball program will continue on the upward trajectory it has established. We are energized to capitalize on the momentum of our program as we pursue a new coach at Iowa State.”