Sports

Chicago Bulls fire Fred Hoiberg

Team was 5-19 this season

Fred Hoiberg watches action on the court during the Bulls game at the Houston Rockets on Dec. 1. Hoiberg was fired Monday as Chicago coach. (USA Today Sports)
Fred Hoiberg watches action on the court during the Bulls game at the Houston Rockets on Dec. 1. Hoiberg was fired Monday as Chicago coach. (USA Today Sports)

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls fired head coach Fred Hoiberg on Monday and promoted Jim Boylen to lead the team.

“Decisions like this one are never easy to make, however I felt this was the right choice for our organization at this time,” Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson said in a statement.

“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 became the head coach in Chicago on June 2, 2015 after five seasons as the coach at Iowa State, his alma mater. His overall record with the Bulls is 115-155 (.426), including a 5-19 (.208) start this season. Chicago has lost six straight games, including a 121-105 defeat at Houston on Saturday.

Hoiberg, 46, guided the Bulls to one postseason appearance, losing to the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2017 Eastern Conference playoffs.

Boylen, 53, has served on the Chicago staff since June 17, 2015, most recently as associate head coach. His 33 years of coaching experience includes 20 seasons in the NBA, highlighted by NBA championships with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995 and the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

Hoiberg was in the fourth season of a guaranteed five-year deal worth a reported $25 million. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Monday that Hoiberg would likely return to the college coaching ranks.

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Hoiberg spent five seasons at Iowa State, compiling a 115-56 record that included four trips to the NCAA tournament. He scored 1,993 points during his playing career in Ames, where he also starred as a high school standout.

He spent 10 seasons playing in the NBA with Indiana, Chicago and Minnesota and had a career scoring average of 5.4 points.

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