Iowa State hires Steve Prohm


AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State has hired Murray State’s Steve Prohm as its men’s basketball coach.

Cyclones athletic director Jamie Pollard confirmed Monday that Prohm will replace Fred Hoiberg, who left last week after five seasons to take over the Chicago Bulls.

The 40-year-old Prohm was 104-29 in four years at Murray State. He led the Racers to 29 wins, including a 16-0 regular-season mark in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2014-15.

Prohm takes over an Iowa State team that could open next season ranked in the top 10. The Cyclones return six of their top eight scorers from last season, when they won their second straight Big 12 tournament.

Prohm, who has agreed to a five-year deal with a base salary of $1.5 million per year, will be introduced at a news conference on Tuesday.

“Steve’s personal values, style of play and proven success as a head coach make him an outstanding choice to be our next coach,” Pollard said. “He is a proven winner who is widely respected by his current and former players. We feel Steve is the ideal coach to continue the incredible success that Coach Hoiberg and his players have achieved during the past several years

Prohm began his coaching career at Alabama and worked under current Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy at Southeastern Louisiana and Centenary. Prohm was promoted to head coach at Murray State when Kennedy left for the Aggies.

Prohm led the Racers to 31 wins and a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament in his first season in 2011-12 behind star Isaiah Canaan. Murray State went 21-10 the following season and won 23 games and the CIT title in 2013-14.

The Racers went on a 25-game winning streak at one point last season and earned a spot in the Top 25. But an 88-87 loss to Belmont in the OVC title game sent Murray State to the NIT.

Prohm’s teams at Murray State played a fast-paced, high-scoring style predicated on strong guard play.

The Racers averaged 79 points per game last season — good for eighth-best in the country. They were led by a dynamic scorer in sophomore sharpshooter Cameron Payne, who could be a NBA lottery pick in the draft.

“I have no doubt he’ll be successful with the Cyclones. He’s a class individual and represented Murray State proudly,” Murray State athletic director Allen Ward said. “I will always be grateful for his service. Because of the unusual timing of this move, it’s in our best interest to move very quickly to find a replacement.”

Prohm’s up-tempo style should be a hit at Iowa State, which played a similar style while winning 115 games and reaching four consecutive NCAA tournaments under Hoiberg.

The expectations for Prohm and the Cyclones next season will be high.

Georges Niang is the headline player for the Cyclones, who won 25 games before a stunning loss to 14th-seeded UAB in the NCAAs.

Point guard Monte Morris was a second-team All-Big 12 pick, and center Jameel McKay was the conference’s defensive player of the year. Senior guard Naz Long, top reserves Adbel Nader and Matt Thomas and transfers Deonte Burton and Hallice Cooke round out what’s expected to be the most talented roster in school history.

One of Prohm’s first priorities will be recruiting.

Niang, McKay and Long will be seniors in 2015-16, and Morris could jump to the NBA if he has another strong season.

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