Athletics Director Jim Donovan said he would be “thorough….” and “swift…”. He was. Former USC assistant Gib Arnold was formerly introduced as the new Hawaii head basketball coach today at a press conference at the Stan Sheriff Center. This was less than 2 weeks after Bob Nash was fired after 3 years as the head man.
Arnold was one of 7 applicants interviewed by Donovan and the committee. He and St Mary’s associate head coach Kyle Smith were believed to have been the front runners. Although the fact that Smith was still coaching with his team in the NCAA Tournament may have had a factor in the decision. He more than likely would not have been able to accept an offer until after the Gaels concluded their season which would have delayed the time frame preferred by the administration.
Arnold had been released at USC by current head coach Kevin O’Neil.
Arnold follows in his father’s footsteps. Frank Arnold was the 16th head coach for Hawaii, preceeding Riley Wallace and Nash. The younger Arnold is the 19th coach in program history.
A Punahou graduate, Arnold was a Gatorade Player of the Year in 1987 as a senior. He played collegiately at Arizona St., Dixie St., and UC San Diego. He had coaching stints as an assistant at Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, and Utah Valley State College. He was a head coach at college of Southern Idaho, a junior college.