Tuesday morning marked the start of a new era for Iowa State basketball, as Steve Prohm took the podium at the Sukup Basketball Complex in his first full day (officially) as the Cyclones' head coach. The introductory press conference gave the former Murray State Racer a chance to summarize his philosophy for the program's future, as well as answer questions from the local press.
ISU President Steven Leath and AD Jamie Pollard opened up the presser by explaining a bit of the hiring process. Pollard described coaching searches as, "The most important thing that I can do as the director of athletics."
Pollard also dived into what he and president Leath were looking for throughout the interviewing process.
"The candidate needed to be a good fit (for the program) ... Needed to have good personal values ... Had to be able to recruit ... Needed to be a proven winner ... And needs to be able to sustain success in Ames, Iowa."
One of the more interesting tidbits from Pollard's opening monologue was that he reached out to basketball officials in the Big 12 for their opinions on the candidates' sideline demeanors.
"(Prohm) is respected by those officials that I reached out to," said Pollard.
Once coach Prohm was introduced, he began by thanking his former colleagues and players at Murray State, then dived into what made him excited about being the head coach of Iowa State. What made him most excited, exactly?
"The players. I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't coached some unbelievable players," said Prohm.
Throughout his speech, coach Prohm kept making it very clear that basketball is a players' game. He said his job is to steer the ship and challenge the players spiritually, make them grow socially, and make them impact the community. He also mentioned allowing them to build their confidence on the floor.
"I want them playing with great freedom," Prohm paused for a second, "to a point."
"Players make plays," said Prohm.
When asked about replacing former head coach Fred Hoiberg, Prohm said, "I'm not here to replace him, I'm here to learn from him, use him as a resource, and benefit from what he's done for the past four years."
Most Cyclone fans are probably eager to know what kind of style coach Prohm plans to use at ISU. Spacing the floor and playing up tempo were what he mentioned for the offensive end of the floor, and on defense, Prohm referenced playing hardcore, tough-nosed man-to-man in the halfcourt.
"The more we get stops, the faster we can go," said Prohm.
A reporter in the audience asked Prohm how he'll go about recruiting, which was not so secretly one of coach Hoiberg's least favorite parts of coaching the college game.
"I want to be as hands-on as possible. Building relationships with players is the fun part," said Prohm.
Iowa State's new coach also knew how to please his audience.
"(Hilton Coliseum's) got to be one of the top five places to play in the country. I can't wait to experience it."
Also of note... Prohm called Hy-Vee "High-Five" when he couldn't remember the name of the popular Midwestern grocery chain. He quickly corrected himself...
"High-five is what we'll be doing with the student section after games."
Finally, when asked about building his staff, Prohm said he's going to commit the rest of this week to building relationships with Iowa State's returning players. He'll use next week to get into finding some assistants.