With Fred Hoiberg bolting Iowa State last week for the Chicago Bulls, the Cyclones moved fast and tabbed ex-Murray State head coach Steve Prohm as their new basketball coach on Monday. Prohm, who was previously tied to the vacant Alabama job in April, will now become Iowa State’s 20th head coach.
There was a report—as CBSSports.com’s Jon Rothstein wrote—last week that athletic director Jamie Pollard wanted to keep top assistant T.J. Otzelberger around and keep things status quo, as Otzelberger was partly responsible for making the Cyclones a recent power. However, higher ups— particularly school president Dr. Steven Leath— wanted a proven coach and zeroed in on Prohm over other candidates like Bryce Drew and Jeff Hornacek .
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“We feel Steve and his family are a perfect fit for Iowa State University,” Pollard said. “Steve’s personal values, style of play and proven success as a head coach make him an outstanding choice to be our next coach. He is a proven winner who is widely respected by his current and former players. We feel Steve is the ideal coach to continue the incredible success that Coach Hoiberg and his players have achieved during the past several years. We are excited to welcome Steve, Katie and Cass to the Cyclone family.”
Prohm, who has 17 years of college coaching experience at four schools (Centenary, Southeastern Louisiana, Tulane, Murray State), is coming off one of the greatest seasons in MSU history in 2014-15 where he led the team to a 29-6 overall mark, a perfect 16-0 record in conference play and a spot in the NIT.
Prohm certainly comes into a fortuitous situation, as the Cyclones could contend for a Final Four appearance next season, as they return key players like Georges Niang, Jameel McKay and Monte Morris, as well as adding talented transfers in Hallice Cook and Deonte Burton.