AMES, Iowa – Iowa State men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg announced today the return of T.J. Otzelberger to his staff as assistant coach. Otzelberger spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Iowa State before spending the last two seasons at the University of Washington.
“I’m excited to have T.J. rejoin our staff,” Hoiberg said. “His familiarity with our program and Iowa State University will help us to have a seamless transition. T.J. is a proven coach and recruiter and he will be very valuable to our coaching staff.”
Otzelberger was an assistant coach at Iowa State from 2006-2013, working under Greg McDermott before spending three seasons on Hoiberg’s staff.
“Returning to Iowa State is a dream come true for my family and I,” Otzelberger said. “We are truly passionate about this university and the Ames community. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic to get back to work with Coach Hoiberg and the excellent staff he has assembled. It feels great to be coming home.”
In his first stint with the Cyclones, Otzelberger played a major role in bringing a number of outstanding recruits to Ames. Among them was Melvin Ejim, an All-American on the court and in the classroom at Iowa State.
Ejim, the 2014 Big 12 Player of the Year, finished his career as one of the top scorers in school history, with 1,643 points. He is second all-time with 1,051 career rebounds, making him just the fourth player in Big 12 history with 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds. Ejim’s senior season went down as one of the best in school history, earning All-America honors from five different outlets and winning Big 12 Player of the Year Honors.
Otzelberger’s other Cyclone recruits included: Craig Brackins, a two-time All-Big 12 performer; Diante Garrett, ISU’s second-best career assist man and eventual NBA player; Mike Taylor, an All-Big 12 performer and 2008 NBA Draft pick; Scott Christopherson, Iowa State’s all-time leading three-point shooter and an All-Big 12 Third-Team pick in 2012; Will Clyburn, the 2013 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year; and NBA player Justin Hamilton.
In all, Otzelberger helped tutor four 1,000-point scorers and 13 All-Big 12 performers (Taylor, Wesley Johnson, Jiri Hubalek, Brackins, Marquis Gilstrap, Garrett, Christopherson, Royce White, Ejim, Chris Allen, Clyburn, Tyrus McGee and Korie Lucious) in seven years at Iowa State.
Otzelberger, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native also recruited current Cyclones Naz Long and Matt Thomas, who have combined to connect on 222 three-pointers.
Otzelberger helped the Cyclones advance to the NCAA Tournament in his last two seasons, winning a game in both tournaments to advance to the round of 32.
In addition to Washington, Otzelberger also was an assistant coach at Chipola Junior College (Fla.). He’s coached at the high school level as well, serving as an assistant at Catholic Central High School in Burlington, Wisconsin, for two years before taking over as head coach and athletics director in 2003-04.
Otzelberger was a two-year captain at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, while earning his degree in business administration in 2001. He earned his Masters of Science degree in curriculum and instruction from UW-Whitewater in 2004.
Otzelberger is married to the former Alison Lacey, a three-time All-Big 12 player for the Iowa State women’s basketball team (2006-10). The couple has twins, Jayce and Olivia.
The hiring is pending completion of a background check.