The University of Hawaii has selected a new men’s basketball head coach.
A source close to the process confirmed to KHON2 that Saint Mary’s associate head coach Eran Ganot has been chosen for the position.
Interim head coach Benjy Taylor, who had also applied for the position, was notified of the decision Tuesday, the source said.
“It’s a sad day for me, but when something happens like this, you have to move on and hold your head high and, you know, continue to show character. That’s what we did this year. I wish Eran the best of luck,” Taylor said by phone from the mainland.
Taylor took over the position from Gib Arnold, who was fired by the university, just six days before the team’s first exhibition game.
He led the team to a 22-13 season and into the Big West Conference championship game.
“When you look at the job you did this year, do you think you could have done anything more than what you did to try and prove that you can be the men’s head basketball coach at the University of Hawaii?” KHON2 asked.
“No, there was nothing else I could have done,” Taylor replied. “This was going to happen, and I felt like that through the course of the year, wasn’t supported very much. With that being said, a lot of people ask me, ‘Well if you felt that way, how could you still go out and win for these two games?’ And I just, it was my job.”
Taylor said he is planning the next chapter in his career and is confident he will be able to continue coaching.
“I wish (Ganot) the best, I wish the university the best. I’m blessed and I’m better now than I was five months ago,” he said.
Ganot previously spent four seasons, from 2006-2010, at UH, serving first as director of basketball operations under Riley Wallace, then as full-time assistant coach under Bob Nash.
Former All-Conference standout Bill Amis, who played under Ganot at UH, told KHON2 he’s excited by the university’s choice.
“He used to always say that this was his dream job. It was always obvious to all of us players that he was going to be a really successful basketball coach,” he said. “He’s one of the few coaches I’ve ever had who was a great mix of basketball IQ, work ethic and the psychology of a good coach. I think this is going to be a perfect opportunity for him. I’m sure he already can’t wait to get to work recruiting and building his team.”
While at Hawai’i, Ganot was responsible for recruiting, scheduling and player development with an emphasis on the UH guards. He is also involved in scouting of future opponents and film breakdown with UH players.A rising star in the coaching ranks, Ganot stood out for his tireless work ethic, basketball insight and devotion to the UH program.
A handful of interviews were conducted in Indianapolis at the Final Four by incoming athletics director David Matlin, which included Ganot, Taylor, Columbia head coach Kyle Smith and others.