Eight-year extension for Fred Hoiberg is a good risk for Iowa State

Jeff Eisenberg
May 30, 2012

Only two years into his first term, the Mayor has been reelected.

Iowa State announced Tuesday evening it has agreed to an eight-year extension with coach Fred Hoiberg that will increase his annual salary from $800,000 to an average of $1.5 million. Hoiberg shared Big 12 coach of the year honors last season after the Cyclones finished third in the conference and beat UConn in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

"Returning to Ames has been so much more than expected for our family and I'm thrilled to have the chance to continue developing a nationally competitive program at Iowa State," Hoiberg said in a statement. "The support of our fan base and commitment of our players has brought the magic back to Hilton. I am humbled with the extension, to say the least, and anxious to continue our journey at Iowa State."

An eight-year extension that nearly doubles Hoiberg's salary might seem premature for a coach merely entering his third year, but the former Ames High and Iowa State star is probably worth the risk. The hefty raise creates a perception of stability among recruits and reduces the financial incentive for Hoiberg to pursue an NBA coaching gig if a franchise shows interest in the former Minnesota Timberwolves executive.

In a mere two years, Hoiberg has restored interest in Iowa State basketball by rebuilding the program through a combination of solid recruits and high-profile transfers.

Royce White and two other starters have departed from last year's team, but next season's Cyclones should still contend for a second straight NCAA tournament bid. Marquee transfers Will Clyburn (Utah) and Korie Lucious (Michigan State) will help bolster a roster that still includes starters Chris Babb and Melvin Ejim, as will a strong recruiting class highlighted by coveted power forward Georges Niang.

It will be a challenge for Hoiberg to show he can win without White, but Iowa State clearly has faith in him.

"Fred is so much more than a great basketball coach," athletic director Jamie Pollard said in a statement. "He is an outstanding leader with quiet confidence, long-term vision and a popularity with the fan base that is hard to describe. We couldn't be more pleased with Fred's long term commitment to the University"