Iowa State officially tabs T.J. Otzelberger as coach

Feb 22, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; UNLV Rebels head coach T.J. Otzelberger reacts in the second half against the San Diego State Aztecs at Viejas Arena. UNLV won 66-63. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Otzelberger was officially unveiled as Iowa State’s coach on Thursday.

The 43-year-old Otzelberger spent the past two seasons at UNLV, compiling a 29-30 record.

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This will be Otzelberger’s third stint in Ames. He was an assistant under Greg McDermott and Fred Hoiberg during his first stop at the school from 2006-13 and later coached under the recently fired Steve Prohm in 2015-16.

Also making the return special is that Otzelberger is married to Alison Lacey, a former first-team All-Big-12 pick in women’s basketball for the Cyclones who played for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm in 2010.

“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,” Otzelberger said. “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.”

Otzelberger left Iowa State following the 2015-16 season to become head coach at South Dakota State. He went 70-33 in three seasons and reached the NCAA Tournament twice before taking the UNLV job. His overall coaching record is 99-63 in five seasons.

Now he will attempt to rebuild an Iowa State program that bottomed out by going 2-22 this season, including 0-18 in Big 12 play.

“I have had a close professional relationship with T.J. for many years and admired his work ethic and commitment to excellence,” Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said. “Having watched him grow professionally, I am convinced he is exactly what our program needs at this time.”

Prohm went 97-95 in six seasons at Iowa State.

–Field Level Media