Fred Hoiberg to have open heart surgery

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State fans wondered all last season why coach Fred Hoiberg had suddenly stopped wearing ties.

Hoiberg skipped the neckwear because it made him dizzy -- one of many signs that further heart surgery was inevitable.

The 42-year-old Hoiberg said Friday that he's scheduled to have open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve, a procedure he put off twice during the season.

Hoiberg, who retired from the NBA following the 2004-05 season because of heart issues, will have the surgery next Friday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Hoiberg is the second high-profile person in the Iowa State athletic department to go through serious heart issues in the past month. Athletic director Jamie Pollard is on temporary leave after having a heart attack in March.

"I knew that this was something that would need to be done at some point," said Hoiberg, who first replaced his aortic valve in June of 2005. "My valve has severe regurgitation and the time has come to get it replaced. I am hopeful that this will be my last surgery and I'm looking forward to getting this behind me."

He just completed his fifth season at Iowa State, leading the Cyclones to four straight NCAA tournament appearances and back-to-back Big 12 tournament titles.

Hoiberg said Iowa State's success played a part in his decision to ask doctors to push the surgery until April, though he acknowledged that his heart condition was on his mind all year.

The Cyclones won 25 games last season. They rallied to beat rival Kansas in the Big 12 title game and were a trendy Final Four pick before 14th-seeded UAB stunned them in the NCAA tournament.

"I can't tell you how lucky I am that I know about this, that I can have this done," Hoiberg said. "Technology is at a point today where you can live a normal life."

He is expected to need about four to six weeks to recover. He's hopeful he'll be healthy enough to recruit in July.

The Cyclones return six of their top eight players in 2015-16 and are expected to open the season in the top 10.