UH interviews 15 for post
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
New University of Hawai'i men's basketball head coach Gib Arnold has already secured what he hopes will become a South American pipeline for recruiting.
Now he may be looking at other parts of the world.
Kevin Nickelberry, a former recruiting coordinator for Clemson who recently coached in Africa, has emerged as a leading contender for one of the two vacant assistant coaching positions on Arnold's inaugural staff.
Nickelberry did not want to comment on the specifics of his status for the job, but said: "I have a longstanding relationship with Coach Arnold and he has a great situation there. I think anybody would be fortunate to be able to be a part of what he wants to do there."
Today is the last day for candidates to apply for the two vacant assistant coach positions.
Arnold said he would reserve comment until he officially selects his assistants. He said he expects to fill at least one of the assistant coaching positions by the end of next week.
"I've interviewed probably 15 solid guys," Arnold said. "It'll be tough picking two out of that group."
Walter Roese, who has extensive ties to players and coaches in Brazil and other countries in South America, was officially named UH's associate coach on Monday.
Nickelberry was head coach of Libya's national team last season, and led them to the second round of the African Championship Tournament.
"Libya had never won a game in international play and we won three games last year," he said. "It was a great experience."
He also has experience as a head coach and assistant coach at several NCAA programs.
He was head coach at Hampton for three seasons (2006-09), guiding the Pirates to a 49-44 record during his tenure.
From 1994-2006, Nickelberry was an assistant/associate coach at five programs: Clemson, Charlotte, Holy Cross, Monmouth and Howard.
While he was an assistant at Clemson and Charlotte, both of those programs had recruiting classes ranked among the top 25 in the country.
Nickelberry was raised in Washington, D.C., and played collegiately at Virginia Wesleyan. Through his years as an assistant coach, he established several strong recruiting ties along the East Coast.
Current Brigham Young-Hawai'i assistant coach Brandyn Akana and UH assistant Eran Ganot are also considered candidates for the assistant coach openings.
Ganot was an assistant coach for the past three seasons under Bob Nash.