The Chicago Bulls fired head coach Fred Hoiberg today, and immediately promoted associate head coach Jim Boylen to head coach.
Often, when a head coach is fired, a temporary (interim) coach is named, but the Bulls decided there was no reason to wait and immediately gave Boylen the job.
Hoiberg was named Chicago’s head coach on June 2, 2015 after spending five seasons as head coach at Iowa State. During his time with the Bulls, he coached the team to a record of 115-155 (.426). In 2017, he guided the team to the First Round of the NBA Playoffs, where they were ousted by the Boston Celtics in six games.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “Paxson also put to rest any questions about general manager Gar Forman’s job security, saying, “Gar is absolutely safe.”
More from the Tribune: “Hoiberg, who compiled a 115-155 record and one playoff berth in his three-plus seasons, arrived at the team’s practice facility Monday morning prepared to run the 11 a.m. practice. Paxson and Forman were there to relieve him of his duties.”
In a statement released this morning, Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson said:
“Decisions like this one are never easy to make, however I felt this was the right choice for our organization at this time. 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.”
According to NBC Sports Chicago, “yes, the Bulls are 5-19, on an NBA-worst six-game losing streak and headed toward the NBA Draft Lottery for a third time in four years. They’re 29th in the NBA in offensive efficiency and 28th in net rating. But no team has suffered more injuries than the Bulls this season, especially to key contributors, and at one point last month Fred Hoiberg was forced to start a backcourt of Cameron Payne and Ryan Arcidiacono. What chance did he have of surviving this? The answer, Paxson said Monday afternoon at the Advocate Center, was a lack of “energy and competitive spirit” the front office noticed in games, practices and the locker room the last few weeks. That passion, Paxson said, had been evident even during last year’s tank-inspired 27-win season.”
Boylen joined the Bulls on June 17, 2015. With 33 years of coaching experience, that includes 20 seasons in the NBA, Boylen has been a part of three NBA Championship teams. He entered the NBA in 1992-93 with the Houston Rockets, where he broke in as the team’s video coordinator/scout. Following four seasons in that role, he was promoted to assistant coach on Rudy Tomjanovich’s staff. He has also served as an assistant coach with Golden State (2003-04), Milwaukee (2004-05), Indiana (2011-13) and San Antonio (2013-14). Additionally, he has coached collegiately at Michigan State, where he served on the staffs for both Jud Heathcote and Tom Izzo. Most recently on the collegiate level, he was head coach at the University of Utah, where he led the Utes to the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
The Chicago Tribune reports: “Jim Boylen is the new Bulls coach and never has been the Bulls coach (if you don’t count that one day on Easter; see below). Jim Boylan, however, was the Bulls interim head coach in 2007-08. The two actually worked together at Michigan State. Boylan was Scott Skiles’ longtime right-hand man and went 24-32 down the stretch of the 2007-08 season. Boylan almost fared well enough to keep the job. But as the Bulls lucked into drafting Derrick Rose that offseason, John Paxson began a coaching search that ultimately netted Vinny Del Negro.”