Breaking: Bulls fire head coach Fred Hoiberg
Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson released this statement:
“Decisions like this one are never easy to make, however I felt this was the right choice for our organization at this time. After a thorough evaluation, I elected to make this move with the overall development of our team in mind. As a team, I believe it is imperative that we make unfaltering strides in the right direction and build the right habits to help put our players in the best position to evolve not only now, but into the future. I want to thank Fred for his dedication and efforts, as well as for his enduring commitment to our team.”
Hoiberg was in the fourth season of a five-year, $25 million contract, one he signed as a rookie coach after being in the sights of the Bulls, having led the Iowa State Cyclones to a successful NCAA Tournament run in 2012 and becoming the fastest in school history to notch 100 victories, doing so in 148 games.
Assistant Jim Boylen will take over as the new head coach of the team and is expected to remain at the post for the remainder of the season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Boylen is signed through the 2019-20 season, paying him just under $1 million annually. It’s still unknown whether the Bulls will ask him to coach under his current contract or negotiate a long-term extension for his services.
The Bulls are now 5-19 in the season, losers of six straight games and 10 of their last 11 games — a stretch that called for some tough decisions to be made after the organization expected for the team to take a few steps forward.
Chicago has been victim of the injury bug early in the season, as star big man Lauri Markkanen, point guard Kris Dunn and forward Bobby Portis have missed a vast stretch of the early run, forcing Hoiberg to shuffle the deck from the onset.
The front office gave Hoiberg plenty of opportunities to develop players and even gave him his choice of talent to work with, seemingly committed to his system, despite the struggles.
A poor start to the season after much promise played a part in his dismissal, as the Bulls have struggled to remain competitive and lacked a clear identity, despite having continuity at the helm for a few years.