Monday, March 08, 2010

Bob Nash fired

University of Hawai'I men's basketball head coach Bob Nash, who spent 31 years at UH as a player, assistant and head coach, was fired today, following three consecutive losing seasons and a last-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference.

"It's probably one of the toughest days of my career," said UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan said to open today's press conference at Stan Sheriff Center. "Bob Nash is a tremendous man. I have the utmost respect for him, what he's done for this university as a player, as assistant coach and where his heart is for this program, but I'm announcing this morning that he will not retained next year as head coach."

Donovan said he and Nash had discussions over the past 10 days, but "ultimately, didn't make the decision until this morning."

Donovan said a national search for a new coach will begin immediately.

During the press conference, Donovan said he asks his coaches to do six things — focus on the academics, comply with NCAA and state regulations, interact with community with public relations focus and help fund raise, recruit players with good character, be part of the UH team,and (have a good) won-lost record.

Donovan said Nash met five of the six standards, except the won-lost record,

"That's the only category that hasn't met our standards."

In his three years as coach, Nash never had a winning record. He was 11-19 in the 2007-08 season, 13-17 in 2008-09 and 10-20 this past season.

"I could not foresee a 10-win season with the schedule (21 home games) that we went into this year," Donovan said, "and that's why we're making a change."

Donovan said he did offer Nash a position to help fund raise involving the expansion and refurbishment of Stan Sheriff Center.

"He (Nash) appreciated the offer and understood the decision and he said would move on," Donovan said.

Donovan said a buyout will be involved in Nash's final year of a $240,000 annual contract. Donovan said he would "try to mitigate all costs to UH for the buyout."

Donovan emphasized that Nash is "a class act."

"We are grateful for the way he represented the school and for the example he has set for our student athletes," Donovan said in a prepared statement.

"He may no longer be our coach, but he will forever be a Rainbow Warrior."

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Riley Wallace comments.

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Interview with Bob Nash

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