The problem with smaller programs who find great coaches is that there’s always something bigger around the corner. Sure, Mark Few, Brad Stevens and (so far) Shaka Smart have proven that bigger isn’t always better, but in a sport which naturally attracts men with huge egos- and huge paychecks fuel huge egos – these coaches are the exception. I already covered Florida Gulf Coast and the issues they’re going to face trying to keep their head man Andy Enfield, and now it’s time to move to a bigger program which will face a similar problem in retaining their current coach.
Forget about the 8-year extension Iowa State just inked the 39-year-old Fred Hoiberg to. That will just make his next employer pay a bit more to get him. He now makes 1.5 million a year, which is about average for a high major coach.
But wait, he grew up in Ames. He’s the Mayor for goodness sake.
Go look at the salaries of some other high major coaches. Iowa State doesn’t have those sort of resources.
Hoiberg – in only his 2nd season – found immediate success through attracting once-troubled transfers and molding them into the 27th best offense in the nation. And now he’s bringing in a solid freshman class highlighted by consensus top-100 player Georges Niang. He loses three starters (including Royce White) but returns Melvin Ejim (an elite rebounder), a sharpshooter point guard in Tyrus McGee, and several other pieces from a team which tied for 3rd in the Big 12. In other words, he has all the resources for another solid year. And if he can recreate last year’s success with this year’s roster, then it’s only a matter of time before bigger schools come calling.
Will his ties to Ames be enough?