Wanted: Coach With Connections

Bobby Curran
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Friday - March 17, 2010
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The University of Hawaii men’s basketball program is at a crossroads, and the decision on the next head coach is an important one.

Obviously, the ability to recruit is at a premium for a team that loses five seniors and returns few proven players. That could mean going for an established head coach, but UH would be well-served to find one who does not need a huge salary. The other option is to find an assistant coach who has been the primary recruiter in his present program. In that case, the salary at UH would likely represent a significant increase.

In either case, well-established recruiting connections on the West Coast are a must. Hawaii fans may be surprised at the number of people who will be interested in the job.


*Aquick look at next year: Point guard Hiram Thompson is back, and he’s proven to be an intense competitor and a solid team guy. Power forward Bill Amis returns for his senior season after sitting out with a foot injury. Arizona transfer Zane Johnson is an excellent shooter and can play either small forward or shooting guard. The other returnees are role players with limitations. Incoming freshman Jordan Coleman is an athletic wing player, but may need time before he can contribute at this level. A new coach will need to sign at least four or maybe five players, and they’ll need to contribute right away, so I’d expect at least a couple of JC players. One advantage for the new coach - the WAC will be way down next year, losing a lot of senior starters.

The situation dictates that the search committee and athletic director Jim Donovan might want to follow legendary UCLA coach John Wooden’s advice: “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

* The spring football sessions will be critical for the UH Warriors. Finding replacements for the departed offensive linemen will be an important task. Also, evaluating candidates at line-backer will be high on the list of priorities. The UH schedule will not be particularly forgiving with USC at home followed by road games at Army and Colorado. Keep in mind that both Boise State and Fresno State also are on the road.

There won’t be time in 2010 to ease into midseason form, so the spring is huge.

Kauai fans will enjoy a live scrimmage at Vidinha Stadium as Coach McMackin is keeping his promise to take the Warriors to the Neighbor Islands.

* Word from the NFL combine is that Fresno State running back Ryan Matthews helped himself with his workouts. I’m betting that Matthews will become the best back in this year’s class.

Interesting to hear a couple of NFL experts come out and say that they believe Tim Tebow will make an excellent NFL quarterback. Add Steve Spurier to the list. Opinions are diverse, with some saying that Tebow does not have NFL-level delivery or accuracy. He also scored low in the Wunderlic intelligence test, reportedly getting just 22 of 50 questions right. The other camp says that Tebow is a lifelong winner and leader, and will be a huge success in the pros.

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