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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Arnold seeks assistants

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Jackson Wheeler, left, an associate coach under Bob Nash, was part of the UH staff for 20 years.

JAMES A. FINLEY | Associated Press file photo

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Gib Arnold aced his interviews, and that's a big reason why he is now the head coach of the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team.

Now, he is on the other end.

Arnold said he has started conducting interviews with candidates to fill the three assistant coaching positions on his staff.

"I actually met with one coach right at the airport, as soon as I got off the plane," said Arnold, who returned to Los Angeles yesterday after three days in Honolulu. "I'll meet with a couple more this week. I'll probably interview 10 to 12 guys, at least."

Eran Ganot, an assistant coach with the Rainbow Warriors for the past three seasons under Bob Nash, received an informal interview with Arnold this week.

Arnold said "I think it's fair to say" that Ganot is a candidate for one of the vacant assistant positions.

"I actually didn't know Eran, but I was very impressed with him and we had a great talk," Arnold said. "He has all the qualifications I'm looking for."

The two other members of Nash's staff associate coach Jackson Wheeler and assistant Larry Farmer said they will be leaving the UH basketball program.

Wheeler, who was part of the UH coaching staff for 20 years, declined to elaborate on his situation.

Farmer said he would still like to coach college basketball, and be closer to his family in Chicago. During Farmer's three years in Hawai'i, his wife and two children stayed in Chicago.

"One of the main reasons for me coming to coach here was my relationship with Coach Nash," Farmer said. "Once it became clear that he would not be the head coach, my focus was on looking for a coaching job closer to my family."

Arnold's father, Frank Arnold, was an assistant coach at UCLA when Farmer was a player for the national champion Bruins in the early 1970s.

"We laughed about what a small world this is," Farmer said. "I have nothing against Gib. I just needed a reason to get back to the Midwest."

In any case, Arnold has no shortage of candidates.

During his 5-hour flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles, his cell phone received 108 text or voice messages.

"And that doesn't include the 240 I had before that," he said. "I think it's great that so many people are interested."

Because he does not have an official staff yet, Arnold is also juggling recruiting duties. He said he will make trips this week to watch prospects in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Idaho, in addition to Southern California.

Arnold said he would like to have one assistant coach in place by this weekend to assist with recruiting.

He said he will probably wait until he attends the Final Four next week to fill the final two assistant positions.

"There's a lot of coaches at the Final Four, so I'd like to meet some of them there," he said.