Matt Abdelmassih and Fred Hoiberg talk during basketball practice
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska, Matt Abdelmassih Mutually Agree to Part Ways

March 17, 2022

Fred Hoiberg and Matt Abdelmassih have mutually agreed to part ways, according to a release from Nebraska. 

Abdelmassih has been Hoiberg’s primary recruiter the past three seasons and has largely been responsible forbidding Nebraska’s rosters.

“Matt and I have a close relationship dating back to our time in the front office with the Timberwolves,” Hoiberg said. “He was a big part of our success at Iowa State and played a leading role in building our roster at Nebraska. I wish Matt and his family nothing but the best.”

Abdelmassih worked with Hoiberg throughout his five seasons at Iowa State, so the 2022-23 season will be Hoiberg’s first as a collegiate head coach without Abdelmassih on his staff. The two also worked together for two years with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Abdelmassih spent four seasons at St. John’s (2015-19) before rejoining Hoiberg when he took over in Lincoln in the spring of 2019.

With Abdelmassih leading the way, the Huskers’ first three recruiting classes ranked 52nd, 67th and 18th (including the program’s first 5-star signee) according to the 247Sports Composite. During those three seasons, the Huskers brought in 10 high school recruits, 10 transfers from other four-year programs and five junior college recruits. Nebraska’s 2022 class currently ranks 33rd led by 4-star guard Ramel Lloyd Jr. and Coffeyville Community College center Blaise Keita.

In early December, Abdelmassih took a leave of absence to deal with a health situation but returned to the team less than two weeks later and finished out the season.

Nebraska lost 20 or more games in each of Hoiberg’s first three seasons and the Huskers are 24-67 overall during that time. Athletic Director Trev Alberts announced on Feb. 24 that Hoiberg would return for a fourth season with a restructured contract.

“Fred has presented a plan to me that I believe is in the best long-term interest of the Nebraska Athletic Department and our men’s basketball program,” Alberts said in a release after announcing  Hoiberg would return. “Additionally, Fred has agreed to restructure his contract to help us make the changes that are necessary to reorient our program. I believe in Fred and look forward to working with him as he executes his vision for the future of Nebraska men’s basketball.”

Abdelmassih’s departure is the first significant domino to fall this offseason as the Huskers look to move forward from a 10-22 season.

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