It’s Official: Otzelberger Is Iowa State’s New Basketball Coach
It's official. Iowa State has a new men's basketball coach.
As expected, T.J. Otzelberger is returning to Ames to take charge of the Cyclones' program. Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard made the announcement Thursday, just hours before the start of the NCAA Tournament.
"It's with great excitement and anticipation that we welcome T.J., Alison and their three children to Iowa State," Pollard said in a news release. "T.J. was instrumental in helping our program achieve some of its most-significant achievement and he is keenly aware of what it takes to be successful at Iowa State."
Otzelberger becomes the 21st men's basketball head coach in Iowa State history. He succeeds Steve Prohm, who was fired Monday following six seasons with the Cyclones, who completed the season with a 2-22 overall record. They were 0-18 in Big 12 Conference play.
In the release, Pollard said Iowa State will hold a virtual news conference Friday at 10:30 AM to officially introduce Otzelberger as Iowa State's new head coach. The news conference feed will be available on cyclones.com and on Iowa State social media channels.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal broke the news of Otzelberger's hiring by Iowa State Tuesday night but didn't cite any specific sources. The 43-year-old Milwaukee, Wis., native just finished his second year at UNLV, where he was in the midst of restoring one of college basketball's glamour programs.
The Runnin' Rebels had a record of 29-30 in the two seasons Otzelberger guided the program. His first job head coaching job from 2017-19 was at South Dakota State, where the Jackrabbits went 70-33 under his leadership.
"I couldn't be more enthused about the opportunity that (Iowa State) President (Wendy) Wintersteen and Jamie (Pollard) have given our family," Otzelberger said. "It's somewhat rare to get the chance to return home, but Iowa State was my first stop as a Division I college coach and it is my wife's (Australia native Alison Lacey, who played for ISU) adopted home. The resources are here to build and sustain a program that competes at a high level in the Big 12 and nationally. I'm familiar with the foundation of the school and basketball program and am eager and inspired to sell our vision and re-establish a championship culture."
This will be Otzelberger's third stint in Ames, but his first as head coach. Previously, he was lead recruiter and bench coach for Greg McDermott, Fred Hoiberg, and Prohm. The last three Cyclone teams Otzelberger worked with registered a 69-35 (.663) overall record with NCAA Tournament appearances every season.
Otzelberger's first victory at Iowa State will be a milestone. He is closing in on his 100th career win, having forged a five-year collegiate record of 99-63. His teams have been extremely competitive in conference play with a 67% winning rate and three championship or runner-up finishes.
Otzelberger's hiring is pending a background check by the University, Iowa State officials said.