Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg has emerged as an intriguing NBA head-coaching candidate, multiple front-office executives told Yahoo! Sports. After resurrecting the Cyclones program and nearly pushing them into the Sweet 16 of the 2013 NCAA tournament, Hoiberg's college coaching success, combined with his pro pedigree, has convinced league officials he's the ideal college coach to make the transition to pro basketball. "If I had to make a hire this year, [Hoiberg] would be one of the first calls I'd make," one NBA general manager told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday. "He is a natural for our league." Among seven GMs contacted on Sunday, there wasn't a single one who expressed skepticism about Hoiberg's ability to make an immediate leap to an NBA coaching job should he have a desire to do so. Two GMs who expect to have openings told Yahoo! Sports that they planned to feel out Hoiberg's interest in the NBA once they begin search processes. After 10 years as an NBA player and four more in the Minnesota Timberwolves' front office, Hoiberg has long been respected professionally and well liked personally within the NBA. In three seasons at Iowa State – which include two NCAA tournament trips and victories – Hoiberg has shown himself to be one of the rising stars in the coaching profession. Iowa State lost 78-75 to Ohio State in the third round of the West Region on Sunday, ending the Cyclones' season at 23-12. Hoiberg has his best recruiting class arriving on campus in the fall. Prying Hoiberg out of Ames, Iowa, won't be easy. He grew up in Ames, graduated from Iowa State and has shown a strong inclination to coach his alma mater for the long term. Long ago, his popularity and loyalty in the community gave him his nickname of "The Mayor." Hoiberg has long expressed a desire for his children to have a similar upbringing in Ames as he did.