When the Chicago Bulls played a preseason game in Lincoln, Nebraska, the local paper dug up this tidbit about the new coach’s father:
Fred Hoiberg, born in Lincoln, was 2 years old when his father received his doctorate in sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
At that point, Eric Hoiberg had job offers to be a sociology professor at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, and Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.
“I’m forever grateful he picked the right one,” Fred Hoiberg said with a grin.
Hoiberg is making the jump from being a college coach to the NBA this year, a difficult transition that many good coaches have had a hard time making. But, what might he have learned from his sociologist father that could help? Hoiberg could have learned how to holistically develop his players as athletes and humans. Perhaps he uses some important piece of sociological theory to help him understand the game of basketball. Maybe he connects better with his players and others in the organization because of his knowledge of the social forces that influence people’s lives.
If I was in the reporter’s scrum at a press conference, I would ask this question. Perhaps no one else would care – Hoiberg has some connection to sociology? – but the answer could provide some insights into how he coaches.