Bulls happy to see Hoiberg land new job in Nebraska

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 file photo, Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee. A person with knowledge of the negotiations has told The Associated Press that Nebraska has finalized a deal to hire Fred Hoiberg as its coach. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Saturday, March 30, 2019 because the school has not announced the hiring.

    FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 file photo, Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee. A person with knowledge of the negotiations has told The Associated Press that Nebraska has finalized a deal to hire Fred Hoiberg as its coach. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Saturday, March 30, 2019 because the school has not announced the hiring.

 
 
Updated 3/30/2019 8:44 PM

Fred Hoiberg has found his next coaching job. The former Bulls coach was officially named head coach at the University of Nebraska on Saturday.

Hoiberg was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. His parents worked at Nebraska before moving on to Iowa State, where Hoiberg attended college and later coached.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I think it's great for him," Bulls guard Zach LaVine said. "I sent him a text to congratulate him. I think everybody knows how much we love Fred, how good of a person he is. He's a great basketball mind, he's not going to be out of the game for that long, if it's college or the NBA, whatever it is, he's going to get a job pretty fast."

Hoiberg coached the Bulls just over three seasons before being let go Dec. 3. This move will help the Bulls' bottom line, since his new salary will cut into the $5 million the Bulls owe him for the final year of his contract.

"I'm really ecstatic for him," Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. "I know he loves coaching college basketball. We've had many of those conversations. He did a terrific job at Iowa State. It looks like Nebraska is right in his wheelhouse and I'm sure he'll take that program to the next level. Happy for him and his family."

Hoiberg skips Hollywood:

The first coaching rumor after Fred Hoiberg was let go by the Bulls was UCLA, where Zach LaVine spent one season before turning pro. LaVine said he didn't try to steer Hoiberg toward the West Coast.

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"I heard about that. I was like, 'Man, he'd be a great coach for there,'" LaVine said. "Because of how attractive UCLA is already, then you get a coach like that to go there, a coach that's been at the highest level in college and the NBA. He's a great coach."

Bulls coach Jim Boylen thought about whether Hoiberg would have to coach against his son Jack, a walk-on at Michigan State. Jack Hoiberg played a total of 16 minutes this season, so it may not be much of an issue.

"Playing against Jack will be an interesting story," Boylen said. "Fred's got a great heart. He's a good recruiter, he's proven that. They need a good recruiter there. From what I hear, they have all the facilities, all the trimmings for that program to take off. He can do it, he will do it and I'm happy for him and his family."

Boylen looks ahead:

This has been a low-stakes march to the finish for the Bulls. Not only so they have nothing to play for, neither do their opponents. Toronto has pretty much locked up the No. 2 seed in the East, so Kawhi Leonard didn't dress Saturday at the United Center. Raptors' second-leading scorer Pascal Siakam was active, but did not play.

"I'm really looking forward to training camp," Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. "The summer league will be kind of our test site for some of the things that we'll do and the preparation for that. We've gotten a feel for our guys. It has been a season of discovery and a season for growth. Overall, I think we've done a darn good job without a training camp. Hopefully we'll do even better with one."

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