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.
Hoiberg was fired in December by the Chicago Bulls. He takes over for Tim Miles, who was dismissed on Tuesday after seven seasons.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Saturday because the school has not announced the hiring.
The 46-year-old has ties to Nebraska. He was born in Lincoln and his grandfather, Jerry Bush, was the Cornhuskers’ coach from 1954-63.
Hoiberg went 115-155 from 2010-15 with the Bulls. Before that, he had a successful five-year run as Iowa State’s coach with an up-tempo, spread-the-floor offense. He went 115-56 and led the Cyclones to four straight NCAA Tournaments and two Big 12 Tournament titles.
Hoiberg’s charge at Nebraska is to elevate a program whose most recent regular-season conference championship came in 1950. The Huskers remain the only Power Five conference program to have never won an NCAA Tournament game.
As a star player for Iowa State, Hoiberg competed twice a year against the Huskers from 1991-95 — the period when Nebraska enjoyed its most sustained success, with four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. In the 25 years since, the Huskers have gone to the tournament just twice (1998, 2014).
Nebraska had high hopes for 2018-19. Impressive wins over Seton Hall, Clemson and in-state rival Creighton were part of a 13-4 start that pushed the Huskers into The Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 2014. Then the Huskers lost 11 of the next 13. A mini-run in the Big Ten Tournament wasn’t enough to earn the Huskers an NCAA bid.
The Huskers will lose seniors James Palmer Jr., Glynn Watson Jr. and Isaac Copeland, and junior Isaiah Roby has said he didn’t know if he would return if there was a coaching change.
Hoiberg had said shortly after the Bulls fired him that he wanted to coach again, but the speculation was that it would be in the NBA.
Nebraska has had a history of hiring hot mid-major coaches — Danny Nee in 1986, Barry Collier in 2000, Doc Sadler in 2006 and Miles in 2012.
The program built a new practice facility in 2011 and a new arena in 2013. With the infrastructure in place, athletic director Bill Moos and the university administration were looking to make a splash hire.