Everyone who's anyone in the NBA says the Chicago Bulls are planning on firing head coach Tom Thibodeau, and most in the know claim Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg will be the Bulls' choice to replace him.
Hoiberg, affectionately dubbed "The Mayor" during his playing days as a Cyclone and named by this site as the best tweeter among college head coaches, is 115-56 in five seasons with his alma mater. After a 16-16 debut, Hoiberg has guided the Cyclones to four straight NCAA tournaments and two straight Big 12 tournament titles.
Obviously, losing Hoiberg to the NBA would be less than ideal for Iowa State. It's also inevitable.
A smart, successful 42-year-old college coach with 10 years of experience in the NBA just isn't going to slip under the association's radar forever. Especially not with former Butler head coach Brad Stevens's success with the Boston Celtics.
If you're Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard, what do you do? You call every booster in your phone book and try to make it as hard as possible for Hoiberg to leave, sure. But you also can't stop a guy from living his dream, either.
So here, via the Ames Tribune, is how Pollard addressed the situation to a group of Cyclones fans:
“I think everyone needs to take a step away from the ledge. I recognize it’s tough on (the media), it’s tough on the players, it’s tough on fans. At the end of the day, Fred has done a tremendous amount for our institution and the last five years has been pretty special.
“What the future holds, I don’t have that answer. That’s a personal decision he’s got to make and it’s complicated. I think he’s earned the right to be able to deal with it how he sees fit.”
He didn't plug his fingers into his ears and close his eyes. He didn't blame Hoiberg or the Bulls or the media. Instead, Pollard treated his head coach and his fans like adults.
Here's hoping more ADs and head coaches follow his lead this winter.