The Chicago Bulls and Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg are negotiating a five-year contract with the expectation a deal will be finalized by the middle of next week.
The Chicago Bulls and Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg are negotiating a five-year contract with the expectation a deal will be finalized by the middle of next week, reports ESPN’s Andy Katz and Nick Friedell.
Hoiberg would replace Tom Thibodeau, whom the Bills fired after five seasons on Thursday. Thibodeau still had two years and $9 million remaining on his contract when Chicago cut ties with him.
Throughout persistent rumors of friction between Thibodeau and the Bulls’ front office, Hoiberg has been linked to the team’s head coach position. ESPN’s report said contract language was still being finalized, but multiple Bulls sources feel the deal is “all but complete.”
In five seasons at Iowa State, Hoiberg’s Cyclones have amassed a 115–56 record and appeared in four NCAA tournaments. Iowa State, a No. 3 seed in the 2015 NCAA tournament, lost to the University of Alabama–Birmingham in the round of 64.
On May 12, Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard acknowledged that Hoiberg’s lifelong dream was to coach in the NBA.
Hoiberg retired from the NBA as a player after the 2004–2005 season because of heart issues. Now 42, he underwent open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve on April 17.
Hoiberg played for the Bulls for four seasons from 1999 until 2003.
Over five seasons with Thibodeau at the helm, Chicago compiled a 255–139 record, including a 23–28 playoff record.
“When Tom was hired in 2010, he was right for our team and system at that time, and over the last five years we have had some success with Tom as our head coach,” Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in a statement.
“But as we looked ahead and evaluated how we as a team and an organization could continue to grow and improve, we believed a change in approach was needed.”
- Will Green and Mike Fiammetta