Lincoln-Nebraska Men’s Basketball Coach Fred Hoiberg announced Wednesday that Ernie Zeigler will join the Husker coaching staff. Zeigler bring more than two decades of Division I experience to Nebraska, including six seasons at Central Michigan as a head coach. He spent the last seven years at Mississippi State, helping the Bulldogs to four postseason appearances between 2018 and 2022 under Ben Howland.
Zeigler also served as an assistant coach at Kansas State, Bowling Green, Pitt, UCLA and Detroit and has made eight postseason appearances as an assistant coach, including five NCAA Tournament trips. The 2005-06 UCLA team was the NCAA runner-up, while the 2001-02 and 2002-03 Pitt squads secured NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. He also played a role in a trio of regular season conference championships and a pair of conference tournament titles.
“When I began looking at candidates, Ernie checked all the boxes that we were looking for,” Hoiberg said. “He has a proven track record in player development and has helped build several successful programs in power conferences. He also has the experience of running his own program for several years. Ernie is also an outstanding recruiter who has extensive ties in the Big Ten region. I think he is a good fit with staff we have in place, and I am excited to have him join our program.”
During his tenure at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs ranked sixth in the SEC in wins since 2018, recording at least 18 wins in each of the past five seasons. MSU made four consecutive postseason appearances, including the 2019 NCAA Tournament and an NIT runner-up finish in 2021. In 2020, the Bulldogs tied for fourth with an 11-7 mark, its best SEC finish since 2010-11.
Zeigler was a driving force in Mississippi State’s frontcourt development with the recruitment of Abdul Ado, an ESPN top 100 player. Ado, a 2020-21 All-SEC Defensive Team pick, finished his MSU career tied for second place on the program’s blocks list. Zeigler helped the Bulldogs recruit three classes in the top 25 nationally by 247Sports, including the nation’s No. 10 class in 2016. During his MSU tenure, four players, Reggie Perry, Craig Sword, Quinndary Weatherspoon and Robert Woodard II, reached the NBA
Before spending two seasons at Detroit under Ray McCallum from 2013 to 2015, Zeigler was the head coach at Central Michigan. He spent six seasons with the Chippewas and led the program to two Mid-American Conference Western Division crowns and a pair of Michigan MAC trophies which is given to the school who has the best head-to-head record among in-state schools.