basketball Edit

Hoiberg announces changes to Nebraska coaching staff

When Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts confirmed last month that men's basketball coach Fred Hoiberg would return for a fourth season, he made it clear that it was under the condition that some changes would need to be made.

Along with restructuring his contract, Hoiberg also laid out a plan for how he would alter aspects of his program to turn the Huskers around.

On Thursday, the first significant shakeup was announced with the departure of full-time assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih, who was Hoiberg's first hire when he took over in 2019.

“Matt and I have a close relationship dating back to our time in the front office with the Timberwolves,” Hoiberg said in a statement. “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.”

Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg parted ways with long-time assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih on Thursday.
Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg parted ways with long-time assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih on Thursday. (Nate Clouse/HuskerOnline)

The news is significant considering the unique role Abdelmassih held within NU's staff.

While he did little on-court coaching, the New York City native was responsible for nearly all of Nebraska's recruiting and roster management duties over the past three seasons.

Listed by ESPN as one of the top 40 coaches in college basketball under 40 back in 2020, Abdelmassih helped produce four straight top-50 recruiting classes to Lincoln. That included the 2021 group that featured the Huskers' first-ever five-start recruit, Bryce McGowens, and ranked 20th nationally per Rivals.

Abdelmassih was also NU's highest-paid assistant with an annual salary of $380,000.

However, Nebraska's lack of success over the past three seasons forced Hoiberg to try a different approach to managing his roster. That included parting ways with Abdelmassih and likely redistributing recruiting responsibilities through his entire staff going forward.

Hoiberg, who was a groomsman in Abdelmassih's wedding, has never coached a season at the college level without Abdelmassih being on his staff.

In the new era of the transfer portal, time will be of the essence in replacing Abdelmassih. The Huskers will certainly have scholarships to fill this offseason, meaning there is plenty of work to be done heading into the spring signing period, which beings on April 13.