The Iowa State Men’s Basketball program has a fresh face at head coach as former Iowa State Assistant Coach and South Dakota State and UNLV Head Coach TJ Otzelberger has been hired as head coach at Iowa State.
“It’s with great excitement and anticipation that we welcome T.J., Alison and their three children to Iowa State,” Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard said in a press release Thursday. “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.”
The hiring of Otzelberger comes three days after Iowa State and former Head Coach Steve Prohm agreed to “part ways.”
Otzelberger has spent plenty of years in Ames before.
From 2006-2010, Otzelberger was an assistant coach under Greg McDermott then became the associate head coach from 2010-2013, serving under Head Coach Fred Hoiberg when Iowa State made back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2012 and 2013.
He returned to Ames for the 2015-2016 season to serve as assistant under Prohm.
Now he returns to Ames to lead the Iowa State Men’s Basketball program.
“I couldn’t be more enthused about the opportunity that President [Wendy] Wintersteen and Jamie (Pollard) have given our family,” Otzelberger said in the press release. “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 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.”
As a head coach, Otzelberger has a 99-63 record and has made two NCAA Tournaments in five seasons.
“He is a natural leader who understands how to recruit to Iowa State, values our department’s culture of doing things the right way, and employs a work ethic that rivals anyone in this business,” Pollard said in the press release. “T.J. has always wanted to be the head coach at Iowa State, and he realized several years ago that creating his own head coaching resume was a requirement to build his candidacy. The success and challenges he experienced at South Dakota State and UNLV prepared him to lead our program back to national prominence. I am excited for his to return to Hilton Coliseum and Cyclone Nation.”
Otzelberger comes to Iowa State from UNLV, where he led the Rebels to a 29-30 record in two seasons.
He is married to former Iowa State Women’s Basketball player Alison Lacey who was a three-time All-Big 12 player and won a WNBA Championship with the Seattle Storm in 2010.