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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 17, 2010

UH to interview 3 today

By Ferd Lewis and Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writers

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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The search to find a new men's basketball head coach at the University of Hawai'i has moved to Los Angeles, where three candidates are scheduled to be interviewed today.

Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti and Southern Mississippi assistant Steve Barnes are said to be two of them, according to people familiar with the process but not authorized to speak for UH. The identity of the third coach could not be confirmed.

Once the interviews, which are scheduled to be held near Los Angeles International Airport, are concluded, athletic director Jim Donovan and his advisory committee will have met with at least six candidates.

Saint Mary's associate head coach Kyle Smith was interviewed Saturday in Honolulu while former USC assistant Gib Arnold and current Chaminade head coach Matt Mahar met with the committee in Waikīkī Monday afternoon.

Donovan said approximately 40 applications have been received. He declined comment except to say the "process will be done as expeditiously as possible."

Several signs point to the process winding up by this time next week with pressure mounting to name a replacement for Bob Nash before the national letter of intent signing period begins on April 14.

Oregon coach Ernie Kent was fired yesterday, but there was no indication that he had made contact with UH. Kent was 235-173 in 13 seasons with the Ducks, the most wins of any coach in Eugene.

Seattle University coach Cameron Dollar declined comment on whether he was a candidate, saying, "I have a policy to never comment publicly on job openings."

Giacoletti, 47, who has spent the past three years at Gonzaga, has the most head coaching experience of the known candidates with a 171-123 record over stays at North Dakota State, Eastern Washington and Utah. He led the Utes to a 29-6 record and a Sweet 16 appearance during the 2004-05 season.

Gonzaga plays Florida State Friday in the NCAA Tournament in Buffalo, N.Y.

Barnes has spent the past six seasons as associate head coach at Southern Mississippi. Previously, he had been head coach at San Jose State for three seasons and an assistant at Chico State, Idaho, Utah State, Cal State Bakersfield and two tours at Iowa State.

Although he finished with a 39-51 record at San Jose State, Barnes led the Spartans to their two best showings in 14 seasons in the Western Athletic Conference. San Jose State finished 15-15 in 1999-2000, and 14-14 in 2000-01 with Barnes as head coach.

The Spartans have finished with below-.500 records every year since.

Southern Miss plays Louisiana Tech Thursday in Ruston, La., in the www.Collegeinsider.com Tournament.