Jamie Pollard didn’t waste time finding a successor to Greg McDermott, which was unlike him to do. Pollard prefers to conduct his coaching searches in “stealth” mode. Nevertheless, the mixed reaction, of Fred Hoiberg being named as ISU’s new men’s basketball coach, will continue to be one of debate.
For Hoiberg, it’s good to come home again, but things are not the same as it was when he left. We, as humans, instinctively clamor for what we have grown up with and have become accustomed with. The last time Hoiberg was in Ames, he was more than the BMOC (big man on campus). Everyone across the state only knew him as “The Mayor.”
Let’s not deny the inevitable truth here: it was a slam-dunk PR move that will energize the base. CBS Sportsline’s Gary Parrish went as far as to compare Pollard’s selection of Hoiberg to John McCain tabbing Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008.
Similar to Iowa hiring Fran McCaffery, ISU needed a “jump-start” to the program. As I said last month and a few days ago, calling Todd Lickliter and Greg McDermott terrible coaches is making a lazy-ass assessment. See it for what it was: good men, good coaches, doing it the right way, but it was not the right fit. If that’s too hard for the emotional loyal fan from both schools, they’ll never get it because they don’t want to ‘get it’.
Hoiberg’s major drawback is that he has never coached on any level, as he was the VP in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ front office. Neither was B.J. Armstrong. Yes, head coaching experience is considered a prerequisite, but sometimes you have to take a chance on an individual who has no experience or an assistant coach. Also, keep this in mind when the stress of recruiting, coaching, watching film, et cetera starts to kick in for Hoiberg: he has had heart surgery several years ago.
The last thing anyone wants to have their coach lying on the floor while trying to coach his team to a win, to make the masses happy.
ISU and Iowa fans have a horrible habit of not showing enough patience with the last two coaches, even if things didn’t go out the way all parties involved wanted it to be. This time, however, it will be mandatory for fans to stop whining on the message boards, calling in to “SoundOff”, and sending their AD’s email missives when wins may be hard to come by.
“Running” off McDermott is one thing some delusional Cyclones fans can take credit for, but will they do the same to “The Mayor” if he can’t win games after 4 years himself? Will they have the “cajones” to go that far?
The local hero returning home is nice, but life in Ames and ISU isn’t what it’s used to be.