TJ Otzelberger, Iowa State vs. ex-boss Greg McDermott, Creighton

AMES – TJ Otzelberger lived in Los Angeles and worked for an AAU program when he had dinner with Greg McDermott in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The 27-year-old had a meager resume at the time, but had a wealth of knowledge. After three years as a high school coach in Wisconsin, Otzelberger spent a season as an assistant at the powerhouse Chipola Junior College and then a year at Double Pump, one of the top elementary programs in the country at the time, serving some of the attracted people from the most talented players on the west coast.

So over a meal at the junior college national tournament, Otzelberger had a lot of information about players to share with McDermott, then Northern Iowa’s coach.

“As we talked out of the restaurant,” Jeff Rutter of then-Panthes recalled in a phone interview this week, “Mac said to me, ‘That’s an impressive young guy, and he has a very bright future.'”

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