Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Ernie Zeigler to Fill Open Position on Fred Hoiberg’s Coaching Staff at Nebraska

August 15, 2022

Fred Hoiberg will hire former Mississippi State assistant Ernie Zeigler to round out his coaching staff, according to multiple reports.

Zeigler replaces Armon Gates, who left the program in July to join Dana Altman’s coaching staff at Oregon.

Zeigler has roots in Big Ten country as a Detroit native who played collegiately at three different schools (two in Michigan, one in Georgia) before receiving his bachelor’s degree from Cleary College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Additionally, he has coached in the Big East, Pac-10 and SEC. 

He spent the last seven seasons on Ben Howland’s staff at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs parted ways with Howland back in March after he went 134-98 (59-67 SEC) with one NCAA Tournament appearance.

Mississippi State credited Zeigler as the lead recruiter for center Abdul Ado, a 4-star, top-150 recruit who garnered first-team SEC All-Defense honors in 2021 and averaged 1.9 blocks during his four-year career with the Bulldogs. He was also the lead recruiter for Michigan State transfer guard Rocket Watts.

Howland hired Zeigler away from Ray McCallum’s staff at Detroit, where he spent two seasons. Before that, he served as the head coach at Central Michigan for six seasons, from 2007 to 2012, and amassed a 75-111 record including 45-53 in MAC play.

Before taking over at Central Michigan, Zeigler spent five seasons on Howland’s staff at Pitt (2001-03) and then at UCLA (2003-06). The 2001-02 Panthers won a program record 29 games, and the program won a share of the Big East regular season title both of Zeigler’s seasons on staff.

During Zeigler’s time at UCLA, the Bruins signed three straight top-15 recruiting classes including three McDonald’s All-Americans. UCLA reached the 2006 Final Four in Zeigler’s final year on staff before taking the Central Michigan job.

Zeigler spent one season each at Bowling Green and Kansas State as an assistant before joining Howland at Ptt. He began his coaching career at his high school alma mater, Detroit Cody, as an assistant from 1990 to 1996, and also coached Team Detroit on the AAU circuit from 1992 to 1997.

Zeigler went overseas to begin his head coaching career, spending three seasons in China and Saudi Arabia before returning to the United States to begin his collegiate career at Bowling Green.

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