Contenders lining up to replace UH’s Nash Bottom line dooms Nash
Winning 'more important than ever before'
By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer
Not long after the news that the University of Hawai'i wasn't retaining Bob Nash as its men's basketball coach hit the Internet yesterday, Southern California assistant coach Gib Arnold said he noted a trend.
"A lot of 808 (area code) numbers began popping up on my cell," he said. "Dan Hale gave me a call and I haven't heard the end (since)."
Hale and Arnold are Punahou School graduates and former basketball players. Arnold played for the Buffanblu in 1986 and '87 when his father, Frank, was the Rainbow Warriors' head basketball coach.
Gib, now a 40-year old with a lengthy resume, is being touted by friends as a candidate for the UH job and is among the first to publicly express an interest in it.
Other names speculated upon include NBA scout and UH graduate Jarinn Akana, UH-Hilo coach Jeff Law, former UH and Kentucky assistant Scott Rigot and former New Mexico State and Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus, who is now an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Athletic director Jim Donovan said he has been contacted by agents on behalf of some possible candidates and by some prospective applicants for the position.
The job has a listed salary range of $185,000 to $400,000 but can be exceeded by 25 percent with the approval of the UH president without going to the Board of Regents.
Arnold, however, expressed more than an interest calling it a "dream job." He said he'd probably be the only candidate that has ever "cried over UH basketball losses. And, there was a lot of crying in those times."
Frank Arnold, a former UCLA assistant and Brigham Young head coach, was 11-45 at UH before resigning to become an assistant at Arizona State. He is currently retired and living in Idaho.
Gib, a 6-foot-2-inch guard who averaged 14.2 points per game was an Advertiser All-State pick and Gatorade state player of the year as a senior.
He signed a letter of intent to play at UH but followed his father to ASU. After a church mission he played at Dixie State and UC San Diego.
Gib has been an an assistant coach at USC for five seasons. Prior to that he was an assistant at Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and Vanderbilt. He was 57-14 as a head coach at the College of Southern Idaho. CSI was 33-3 in 2005 and finished third in the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament.
Speculation is that some of the $100,000 that Donovan said had been donated to help underwrite the buyout of Bob Nash's $240,000 salary might have come from Punahou alums.
But Arnold said he had no knowledge of that. Donovan said the donors are people who "want to try and help out (financially) and they want to remain anonymous and I'm going to respect that."
Gib said he has maintained his ties and friends here and, "even though I only lived there a couple of years, that's where I tell people I'm from."
Gib acknowledged that his father was poorly matched for UH but said there are major differences between them. "He was a little more meat and potatoes and (suit and tie) and I'm maybe a little more slippers and T-shirt, chili and rice at Zippy's."
Law, a former UH assistant, is in his 12th season with the Vulcans and said, "I would love to be considered for the (Mānoa) job."
Law is 178-138 since rebuilding the UH-Hilo program and was the 2004-05 NCAA Division II West Region Coach of the Year.
Former UH player and TV analyst Artie Wilson has been been speculated upon but declined comment. Former UH point guard Mark Campbell is in his first season as an assistant at Saint Mary's. He was a starter at UH from 2001-03.
Some UH boosters were high on Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett, whose Gaels defeated the 'Bows, 84-75, in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in December. The Gaels are 26-5 in the West Coast Conference.
Bennett was hired there by Carl Clapp, current UH associate athletic director. But indications are that Bennett, the Gaels' all-time leader in victories (181), may be out of UH's price range even if he isn't offered a Pac-10 job.