LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Apr. 6)–University of Nebraska men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg announced the hiring of former Chicago Bulls assistant Nate Loenser (pronounced Lenzer) to the Husker coaching staff on Tuesday (April 6).
Hoiberg, who has worked with Loenser at both Iowa State (2013-15) and with the Chicago Bulls (2015-18), believes Loenser’s combination of coaching experience at the NBA and collegiate levels and player development skills enhances the Husker program.
“This is the third time I had a chance to add Nate to my staff and believe that he is the best player development guy I have worked with,” Hoiberg said. “He was a valuable member of our staff that won a pair of Big 12 Tournament titles in Ames. In Chicago, he did a remarkable job with our G League team in its first season, as we had more than a dozen players recalled or sign with other NBA teams. He has earned the respect of players around the league because of his ability to relate with players, and to help them reach their goals. We are pleased to welcome Nate and his family to Lincoln.”
Loenser, who joins the staff as an assistant coach, spent five seasons with the Bulls, including three seasons as an assistant coach for Hoiberg and Jim Boylen. His coaching emphasis was on the offensive end, while he also handled opponent scouting for select teams and worked extensively in player development. He helped develop 2021 NBA all-star Zach Lavine as well as Kris Dunn, Ryan Arcidiacono, Justin Holiday, Chandler Hutchison, David Nwaba, Denzel Valentine and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot during his tenure with the Bulls. Loenser also served as the Bulls’ NBA Summer League coach in 2019, a roster which featured NBA Lottery pick Coby White and ran the Bulls’ predraft workouts for three seasons.
Prior to joining the Bulls’ coaching staff, he was the head coach of the Windy City Bulls D-League team in 2016-17. He guided the expansion franchise to a 23-27 record, which was the best of the three expansion franchises that season, while developing players such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Jake Layman and Bobby Portis.
Loenser spent two years on Hoiberg’s Iowa State staff and was a key component in helping the Cyclones to a pair of Big 12 Tournament titles. He was the Cyclones’ Director of Player Development in 2014-15, as ISU went 25-9 and tied for second in the Big 12. That season, Georges Niang earned All-America honors, while Niang, Monté Morris and Jameel McKay were recognized on the All-Big 12 teams. McKay was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
In his first season, Loenser served as graduate assistant as the program enjoyed one of its best seasons in program history. The Cyclones finished with 28 wins, won the Big 12 Tournament title and reached the NCAA Sweet 16. ISU ranked in the top three nationally in scoring offense, assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio. Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane both earned All-America accolades for their efforts.
After one season at Northern University High School in Cedar Falls, Loenser began his collegiate coaching career at Southern Mississippi. He served on Larry Eustachy’s staff for six seasons, helping the Golden Eagles post a pair of 20-win seasons and reach the CIT in 2010. He handled recruiting, opponent scouting and on-court coaching during his tenure at USM. Loenser returned to Iowa to coach high school basketball, serving as the head coach at Spirit Lake High School before joining the Iowa State staff in 2013.
A native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Loenser was a 2002 graduate of Iowa State, where he played baseball for the Cyclones in 2001. He was a four-sport athlete (baseball, basketball, football, and golf) at Northern University High School, as he fell two tackles shy of the school’s single-season record of tackles held by former Husker great Trev Alberts.
He and his wife Jackie have three daughters, Delaney, Logan and Hadley.