Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cyclones lock up "The Mayor"

Iowa State fans have a love affair with their head coaches these days and rightfully so, but the love affair with their Men's basketball coach is unlike anything seen in the country as "The Mayor," Fred Hoiberg has come back to the rescue of a program he once led to unheard of heights as a player. However, there's a downside to that - it usually means they are winning a lot more than they are losing and that means being on the radar of open jobs all over the place.

On Thursday rumors (likely sent out from Hoiberg's agent) began circulating that Minnesota was sending out feelers and had a sincere interest in ISU's beloved Hoiberg. Well, credit Jamie Pollard, the AD at Iowa State, as he didn't hesitate to flash the cash for a man that means so much to the program and community.

It was announced later on Thursday night that ISU has inked Hoiberg to a 10 year, $20 million contract extension. Apparently it wasn't just Minnesota with interest as Pollard indicated that there was interest from several college and NBA teams about his services.

"I am very excited that we were able to put together a financial package that allows Fred (Hoiberg) to remain an intergal part of the Cyclone family," Pollard said. "Nobody is better suited to be our head men's basketball coach and we wanted to show he and his family, along with all Cyclone fans, that we are committed to keeping him in Ames for the long term."

Hoiberg clearly sees unfinished business at hand in Ames and that was a big part of him sticking around a place he can truly call home.

"When I returned to the university three seasons ago, it was a dream come true," said Hoiberg in the release. "The progress that we have made so far has been very rewarding, but there is more work ahead. I sincerely appreciate the support that President Leath and Jamie (Pollard) have given me. Ames is my home and Hilton Coliseum has given me countless memories as both a player and coach. I look forward to continue leading a program that Cyclone fans can be proud of."

Sure there are goals to achieve, but in the bigger picture this deal shows just how far Iowa State has come on and off the field under the leadership of Jamie Pollard. Just 5 or 6 years ago this kind of a deal wouldn't have even been a possibility at the school.

So credit Hoiberg for the on the court turnaround, but give equal credit to Pollard for being one of the shrewdest masterminds in college athletics administration. He's gotten the product up to high standards and the money has followed - not an easy feat in Ames, Iowa.

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