Replacing “The Mayor” is an unenviable assignment for anybody.
Sure, as Iowa State’s 20th head coach, Steve Prohm is inheriting a top-10 roster heading into the 2015-16 season. That’s great, but the nuances when it comes to following Fred Hoiberg make this job difficult on a number of levels.
The way I see it, Prohm could have gone two ways when orchestrating his inaugural coaching staff in Ames.
I don’t think anybody could have blamed the former Murray State leader for completely cleaning house, starting fresh and doing things his way because after all, this is his program now.
However it appears that building continuity with the Hoiberg Era is important to Prohm.
Within his coaching staff (that is expected to be made official today or tomorrow), Prohm has chosen to retain longtime Hoiberg ally T.J. Otzelberger as his top assistant. Micah Byars, a popular locker room figure with the players, will return as Director of Basketball Operations. Not surprisingly, Prohm will add a veteran assistant who he is familiar with in William Smalls. A semi-outsider, Daniyal Robinson (currently with Loyola-Chicago) will round out the staff. Of course, Robinson has been in Ames before during the Greg McDermott era.
This is one of the advantages of a guy who has been a head coach before. Prohm isn’t just hiring buddies to a staff that will lead a program with aspirations of a Big 12 championship.
Gene Chizik did this and to this day, I believe that is why he failed as a head coach at Iowa State.
Prohm showed me something throughout this hiring process. He swallowed any sort of ego that could have existed in which he would want to separate himself form the Hoiberg Era.
Instead, Steve Prohm is embracing the most successful tenure in the history of Iowa State basketball.
That is a very smart thing to do.