Associate coach Walter Roese is leaving the Hawaii basketball program to return to his home country of Brazil.
Roese could not be reached for comment, but his decision is believed to be mostly for family reasons. His wife, Monique, is also from Brazil, and they have two children.
Roese spent the past few months traveling with Brazil’s junior national team. In his absence, the Hawaii coaching staff has adjusted. Most notable, Scott Fisher has been allowed to serve as an interim assistant coach. Fisher was the director of basketball operations last season.
During the team’s recent “Warriors to Asia” trip, Benjy Taylor, Brandyn Akana and Fisher served as the assistant coaches under Gib Arnold.
Junior center Vander Joaquim is scheduled to arrive in Honolulu later this week. He spent much of this summer playing for the Angola national team.
Angola lost in the championship game of the Africa Zone Olympic Qualifying Tournament. However, Angola still has one more shot at qualifying, so Joaquim may have to return to the the Angola team eventually. The next qualifying tournament for Angola will take place in the summer of 2012.
Dominick Brumfield will not be returning to the Warriors this season. He was expected to return as recently as last week, but requested a release from the program this week. Brumfield, a 6-foot-8 forward, saw limited playing time last season due mostly to an injured knee.
New recruits Garrett Jefferson and Christian Standhardinger are enrolled in classes at UH and will start individual workouts this week.
Tyler McDaniels will become eligible to join the team in December. McDaniels, a 6-9 forward, is the son of assistant coach Benjy Taylor.
Gerry Blakes is enrolled at a prep school in Texas, and has a chance of joining the Warriors in December. Blakes is believed to be an academic qualifier by NCAA standards, but there have been numerous delays in the processing of his paperwork.
Here is the official press release on Walter Roese from the UH Sports Media Relations office:
HONOLULU – University of Hawai’i head basketball coach Gib Arnold announced the resignation of associate coach Walter Roese from the Rainbow Warrior coaching staff. Roese leaves to take on a larger role in his family business based in his native Brazil, while also pursuing coaching opportunities with the Brazilian national program.
“I am very thankful to Coach Arnold and everyone at the University of Hawai’i who made last year such a very special one for my family and I,” Roese said. “I love Hawai’i and always will—it means so much to me. I wish everyone at UH all the best and I’ll continue to follow the team. I know they’ll have a great 2011-12 season.”
Roese is a graduate of BYU-Hawai’i, where he met his wife, Monique. Both of his children—son Leo and daughter Agatha—were born in Hawai’i.
Roese coached Brazil’s World University Games team for the third time in his career this past summer in China. Last year he headed the U18 Brazilian national team that nearly upset the United States in the championship of the 2010 FIBA Americas.
“Walter did what was best for his family and family always comes first,” Arnold said. “I’m excited for his future and am grateful for the outstanding job he did for us last season. We’re going to miss him dearly and he’ll always be part of the UH ‘ohana.”
Roese previously coached at Nebraska, San Diego, BYU-Hawai’i and Brigham Young—where he became the first Brazilian full-time assistant coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball in 2005. In just five short seasons on the Division I level, he has seen success at each one of his stops with nearly 100 combined wins and four postseason berths, including two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Last year was no different as he helped UH to a 19-13 record and the school’s first postseason appearance in seven years in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.