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Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Fred Hoiberg rewarded with big extension

By Eamonn Brennan

The man they call "The Mayor" -- one of the truly great nicknames in college hoops history -- won't be leaving his mayoral chair anytime soon. Because late Tuesday night, that chair became considerably more gilded.

Hoiberg
That's when Iowa State announced that Fred Hoiberg, the second-year coach, former star, Ames native and all-around Cyclones legend had agreed with the school to a hefty contract extension. The extension will replace Hoiberg's current five-year, $4.5 million deal with an eight-year contract worth $1.5 million per year, keeping Hoiberg signed until the 2021 season.

In case you aren't into math, the extension more than doubles Hoiberg's current $800,000-a-year contract, and it's hard to argue the man isn't worth the lofty raise. In just two seasons, Hoiberg has hoisted a languishing program -- one that fired its last successful coach (that coach: Larry Eustachy) after he was photographed with coeds and beer cans (that beer: Natural Light) -- out of the bottom of the Big 12 and back into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005. The turnaround came thanks mostly to Hoiberg's ability to lure once-troubled transfers like Royce White and Chris Allen, and form them into a cohesive, defensively solid bunch.

But it was also thanks to Hoiberg's decidedly underrated coaching. The proof, as we've written before, is in the post-timeout statistics: As SI's Luke Winn discovered last month, Hoiberg ranked tops among all college coaches in points per possession in post-timeout situations. Contrary to assumption, the Cyclones actually improved when Hoiberg had time to draw up a play. For someone who had never been a head coach before he took over at Iowa State -- something which nagged at even the most dyed-in-the-wool Cyclones fans -- Hoiberg easily exceeded everyone's x's and o's expectations.

So, to recap: The most popular man in the history of Iowa State basketball, who resurrected his former program from its near-decade-long doldrums in his second season, who bolstered his team with near-term transfers and is building it with long-view recruiting, and who also -- guess what? -- can really coach ... just signed an eight year deal doubling his salary through the 2021 season.

Yep. That sounds about right.