Report: Ex-Bulls HC Fred Hoiberg Expected to Be 'Frontrunner' for Nebraska Job

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2019

Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg gestures to his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)
David Banks/Associated Press

Former Iowa State Cyclones and Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg is reportedly the frontrunner for the Nebraska Cornhuskers job if current coach Tim Miles is fired, according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium. 

On Friday, Nebraska's athletic director Bill Moos said the school would make its evaluations on the program—which ostensibly includes determining Miles' future—once the season is over, per the Associated Press. The Cornhuskers are set to play in the NIT on Wednesday.

Nebraska—which at one point was ranked No. 24 overall—had a disappointing season, finishing 18-16 and just 6-14 in the Big Ten. In Miles' seven seasons as head coach, the Cornhuskers are just 115-113 and have only reached the NCAA tournament once and NIT twice.

Nebraska did suffer through injuries to players like Isaac Copeland, Thomas Allen and Amir Harris this season, and the argument could be made that the Cornhuskers were snubbed from the tournament last year when they finished 22-11 overall and 13-5 in the Big Ten.

But there's also an argument to be made that Miles earned his place on the hot seat and that a coach like Hoiberg would be a high-profile move for a program that traditionally has taken a backseat to football in Lincoln. 

Miles' players, to his credit, have stood by him:

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"You can just look at our play," Isaiah Roby said during the Big Ten tournament, per Brian Hamilton of The Athletic. "I mean, if he wasn't the guy, I think we would've given up on him. And I don't think anybody has given up on him. Everybody in this locker room, we're playing hard for him and we're still accepting his challenges. We only got eight guys, and he's challenging us to win all five games."

His players aren't the only ones who have praised Miles:

Hoiberg arguably would be an upgrade, though. He went 115-56 in five seasons at Iowa State, reaching the NCAA tournament four times. And while his time in Chicago was less successful, he nonetheless brings NBA experience to the position. 

Perhaps Nebraska's two wins in the Big Ten tournament, along with a deep run in the NIT, would be enough to save Miles' job. But if Hoiberg has interest in the program, the Cornhuskers would be justified in exploring that option.