Who’s next as UH hoops coach?
By Fred Guzman
With Bob Nash officially out after three unsuccessful seasons, the big question now is: Who will succeed him as coach of the University of Hawaii basketball team?
Inevitably, folks haven’t wasted any time in compiling obligatory lists of potential candidates.
The hottest rumor revolves around Gib Arnold, a Punahou grad who currently serves as an assistant at USC.
Gib Arnold lived in Hawaii during the years his father, Frank, was the head coach during the most dismal stretch in the history of UH hoops, going 11-45 before stepping down.
Speculation is running rampant that many of the key boosters who have committed around $100,000 to help pay off the $240,000 left on Nash’s contract are Punahou grads. And those very same donors reportedly are pushing hard for Arnold to get the job.
Arnold is immediately available after having been released by USC after five years on the job by first-year coach Kevin O’Neill.
VOLLEYBALL: For the second time during a challenging road trip, the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team bounced back from losing the opener of a two-match series by decisively winning the second contest.
The Bows rebounded from a five-game loss on Friday against third-ranked Cal State Northridge by sweeping the Matadors on Saturday.
That trend continued as UH lost in four games to seventh-ranked USC on Monday and responded by defeating the Trojans 32-30, 27-30, 30-18, 30-27 on Tuesday night.
Leading the fifth-ranked Bows last night, as they have all season, were the one-two hitting combo of Jonas Umlauft and Joshua Walker. Umlauft had 25 kills and Walker added 22 as Hawaii improved its records to 12-7 overall and 8-6 in the MPSF.
UH will now enjoy an extended layoff, not returning to action until scheduled home matches March 19 and 20 versus Long Beach State.
The Rainbow Wahine, meantime, will be facing a huge challenge today in the opening round of the WAC basketball tournament in Reno.
Hawaii, which barely qualified for the tourney, takes a 10-19 mark into its contest against top-seeded Fresno State, which rolled to the regular-season title and has an overall mark of 25-5.
The Bulldogs won both previous meetings, but in widely different fashion. Fresno State routed UH by 41, but had to scramble to win by nine in the return game in Hawaii.
DIVISION-II HOOPS: Two teams from Hawaii earned invitations to their respective NCAA D-II basketball tournaments. BYU-Hawaii men qualified for their ninth tournament appearance in 12 years and will face third-seeded Seattle on Friday in the Western Regional at Bellingham, Wash. The HPU women will be making their first NCAA appearance, and will face Great Northwest Athletic Conference champ and regional host Seattle Pacific in an opening round game on Friday.
BASEBALL: The Bows evened their season record at 6-6 by routing The Citadel 13-1 to split a four-game series. UH next hosts USC in a four-game set that begins Friday.
WRESTLING: Dana of Nebraska senior Ryan “Bulla” Tuzon, a former Baldwin standout, placed fourth in the 165-pound division at the NAIA National Tournament Saturday in Oklahoma City. Tuzon won his first three matches and finished 4-2.