The college basketball coaching carousel continues with Nebraska hiring Fred “The Mayor” Hoiberg and Texas A&M hiring Buzz Williams as their new basketball coaches.
Williams coached at Virginia Tech for the last five seasons and he returns back home to his native state. Williams also coached at Texas A&M in College Station as an assistant coach.
Texas A&M fired coach Bill Kennedy and snatched up Williams before anyone else could get to him.
Hoiberg got fired from the Chicago Bulls midseason in late 2018 after a 5-19 start. The Mayor finished with a 115-155 career record with the Chicago Bulls. After several years floundering as a head coach in the NBA, The Mayor decided it was the right time to return to the collegiate ranks. The former Iowa State star player and head coach shocked many Cyclone fans when he made the decision to jump to the NBA.
Fred Hoiberg had the opportunity to do whatever he wanted next season. If he wanted to coach in the NBA, he could have found a home in the next coming weeks. And after his excellent job with Iowa State last decade, anyone in the NCAA would be crazy to not offer him a job.
Williams took a football school to new heights with their basketball program. Under Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech won 100 games and they made March Madness three years in a row.
Virginia Tech advanced as far as the Sweet 16 this year. Their tournament run ended when Zion Williamson and Duke knocked them out last week.
“I am so honored and humbled to return home to Texas A&M and proud to lead the Aggies,” said Williams. “This is our home, and we are ready to join with the 12th Man to win championships, graduate our players and represent this world-class university with integrity.”
Williams heads to another football school to turn around the hoops program. Somehow, everyone has a good feeling that Buzz Williams will be one of the more dominant coaches in the next few seasons in the Big 12.
The Mayor Goes Back to College
Did anyone think The Mayor would be the next Nebraska coach? Not too many people. Credit Larry the Cable Guy for swaying Hoiberg. On an American Airlines flight, Hoiberg pulled out the inflight magazine to kill some time. He flipped through the page and came across an article with Larry the Cable Guy expressing his love for the state of Nebraska. The Mayor and his wife took it as a sign.
Nebraska is adjacent to Iowa and the Hoibergs have plenty of kin in Lincoln and other smaller towns throughout the state. Hoiberg’s grandfather even coached at Nebraska. Even though The Mayor will forever be the most famous person from Ames, Iowa, he decided Nebraska would be the next stop on his journey. After all, the Cornhuskers need him.
Nebraska was one of the premier college football programs in the 1970s and 1980s. They have slowly declined over the last couple of decades as the migrated from the Big 12 to the Big Ten. Nebraska is the only school from the Big Ten without a win in March Madness. Even Northwestern, the perennial basement dwellers on the Big Ten, won a game a couple of years ago under Chris Collins. The Mayor is now tasked with the obvious: bring home a March Madness win.
“I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t expect to turn it around and win consistently,” said Hoiberg in his first press conference as Nebraska’s head coach.
In five seasons coaching Iowa State, Hoiberg went 115-56. If you toss out his first season when Iowa State went 16-16, Hoiberg has a 46-26 conference record. He won 23-plus games in his last four seasons in Ames. Iowa State went as far as the Sweet 16 om 2014, but Hoiberg never guided the Cyclones to a Final Four. He has a chance to take Nebraska to new heights.