Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Chris Acker is new assistant coach

Here is the official release from UH Athletics:

HONOLULU – University of Hawai‘i men’s basketball coach Eran Ganot finalized his assistant coaching staff on Friday, announcing the addition of Chris Acker as assistant coach for the Rainbow Warriors. Acker is the third and final assistant coaching hire for Ganot, joining the ‘Bows after tremendous coaching success at West Los Angeles College and Citrus College before that.

“I am thrilled to welcome Chris Acker back to Hawai‘i as a member of our coaching staff,” said Ganot of Acker who played collegiately at Chaminade University in Honolulu. “Chris is a man of great character, values mentorship, and comes from successful programs. He was a key component as associate head coach in building Citrus College into a championship program and, most recently, resurrected the program at West LA as head coach. I have always been a firm believer in focusing on development, on and off the court and in the classroom, and Chris has a unique gift in this area.”


“My family and I are so thankful to Eran Ganot and the University of Hawai‘i for allowing us to be a part of the men’s basketball program,” shared Acker. “This is a dream come true to be back in the state of Hawai‘i, a place that has always been very close to my heart. The ability to work and learn on a day-to-day basis under Coach Ganot and to work with the staff that he has assembled has me elated. Words cannot describe how I feel about this new journey in helping create this new ‘ohana and helping make UH basketball an exciting program to play for and one of the toughest to compete against.”

Acker comes to Hawai‘i after a successful two years as head coach at West Los Angeles College where he quickly turned around a fledgling program. In his first season at West LA, he coached a squad made up of 11 true freshmen, then served notice to California this past season, more than doubling his win total (18-9) and qualifying for the CCCAA regional playoffs.

Acker’s run at West LA was not the first time he enjoyed success coaching collegiately. Prior to West LA, he was an assistant coach, and later associate head coach, at Citrus College for six years. During his tenure at Citrus, the Owls won the California state championship in 2008, and made it to the Final Four two years later before losing in the championship game. Acker was also part of two Western State Conference championships and instrumental in Citrus boasting a remarkable 92-6 record during his tenure, the best six-year run in CCCAA history. Also during that span, over 40 of his Citrus players received full scholarships to four-year universities (Division I, II and NAIA) with many furthering their careers playing professionally in Germany, Colombia, Mexico, France, Asia, and in the NBA Developmental League.

Originally from Compton, Calif., Acker played two years of community college basketball before finishing his collegiate playing career at Chaminade. He was a key contributor for the Silverswords, helping them to an upset win in 2003 over Villanova at the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Acker took his career to the next level and played professionally overseas in Portugal and Greece before returning to the US to play in the Continental Basketball Association with the Pittsburgh Explosion.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix and recently earned his Master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University Irvine.

“Chris takes great pride in every individual in his program, while they are there and after they are gone,” added Ganot. “He has a keen understanding and affection for Hawai‘i and I couldn’t be more excited to welcome back Chris, his wife, Jennifer, and his two sons, Malakai and Elijah!”


  1. Good job Eran..diverse staff
    welcome Chris , back to Hawaii
    you played pro ioverseas and usa
    that helps guys
    here we go..team has to improve shhooting, strength
    now can work this summer
    Dayton or islandman..is Jamie Smith on Eran’s staff going forward?


  2. Jamie appears to be on the staff, going forward. i guess we have to wait and see.

  3. I like Jamie..he worked so hard to be here, with challenges..
    he would be great part of staff
    wait and see..
    Maniacs great addition
    if here summer camps, with new staff including Chris ..hoping

  4. Here’s Chris in action (if this is the same Chris) on the court playing, he didn’t miss two in a row.


  5. islandman..
    one thing eran hired guys that know how to shoot, score, develop guys and coach zone defense.
    can only help team
    chris acker from honolulu as youtube clip pa guy says (honolulu, chaminade)

  6. Welcome and Aloha, (welcome back), Chris Acker.
    The Villanova buster ! And we are running the Villanova 4 out and 1 in offense !
    Might make for some interesting coaching. Not only running the scheme, but also know its weaknesses.
    Might still need some help recruiting bigs, tough enough to come away with 3 for 3 victories against the best of the Big West competition.
    Go Bows !!

  7. Aloha Spirit signifies transparency toward individual skin pigment ;

    Chris Acker actively preaches diversity for diversity’s worth.

    Performance shining blinded all competitions?

  8. Excellent addition. Also has head coaching experience.

  9. If you wondered some why he got his bachelor’s degree from Univ. of Phoenix, he declared for the NBA draft in 2004 after his junior year at Chaminade as a reserve guard. But he said he gained perspective from that decision, per McInnis.

    Also, his first HC job in 2013 at West Los Angeles was a suspended program at the time he was hired. So he knows dealing with some adversity.
    An older article from 2004 referenced on his decision to declare indicates some humor and he wasn’t connecting with his then coach.

    “Then, Acker says, they send a form. “Then they call you and ask a couple questions” — Is this really you and not a friend of yours pulling a prank? Are you sure you want to do this? — “and that’s pretty much it,” Acker says.”


  10. Aloha No…Welcome Back, Coach Acker
    I Like Tapping into Hawai’i’s ‘Small-College’ Success
    I LIKE the Player-Focus and Commitment Top-Through in this Staff…

    You Cannot Fake That…
    And You Ganot Be a Team Player without that deeply-ingrained understanding….
    i Feel Good for the Near and Long-Term Future of ALL The ‘Bows
    including the Ones we haven’t met, yet…

    IF You’re a Smart, Talented Player,
    WHY Wouldn’t you want to Play for THIS Staff?

    Money? I Bet AD Matlin takes care of that, too…
    I Just get this Golden-Age Feeling…

    Go ‘Bows!
    And All Teams

    Too Bad — Sorry i missed Any Recent Criticism of Coach Laura
    I think IF she ever switched over,
    She (too) would be Great Men’s BB Coach
    I think our coaches “could” even play switch for a month or two and ‘improve’ one another’s teams
    (and i bet the teams help one another better than ever)

    I’m “Planning” on Watching BOTH WIN their BWC Championship Games in Anaheim Next March
    Try It… You Might All Like it…
    With Hawai’i Teams Leading the League in Best-Liked Sportsmanship
    “We” usually earn Great Crowd Support
    Take in a FIVE-STAR Roller Coaster Ride or Two…
    I Don’t Expect So Many Twists, Turns and Twirls from OUR Two Basketball Teams.

    I’m Lookin’ for Consistent Winners
    And LOTS of GOOD News

    BRIGHT Futures!
    Of ALL Teams, I Would Rate Best First Impression on Men’s BB Staff
    Soon, We’ll See A Track Record
    BUT i Note:
    ALL of These Guys Brought The Best Historical Records to EVERY Team & Program They Coached
    I’ve Never Heard of this Award Before (Maybe it is Time)
    But All these Coaches Measure Favorably on what I Would Call The “Bob Wagner Scale”
    ANY Sport, Any Team, Any Where
    Then That Coach Falls in Love with Hawai’i
    And New Levels Of Championships quickly Follow

    [Apologies IF Stretching The ‘Keep it Short’ Guidelines…;-}
    I Feel Like The Program is having a ‘Very Good Day’
    Over, and Over and Over Again
    [DESPITE Upper Campus, BUT If ‘They’ can Learn from Matlin-Ganot
    The Whole UH System could Start Improving…]

    We Can Only Hope…
    And Dream
    Dream On ‘Bows

    Thanks for the Clarified Guidelines, Dayton…
    Great Site… Also Getting Better
    Mahalo Staff, Schmidts & ‘Ohana

    Lookin’ for Championship Tears of Happiness in Anaheim…
    Put in For Leave The Week After…;-}
    Start Your Travel Savings…Now;;
    Big Daddy! IF ALL Are Truly Comin’ Back
    Declare Victory … Then ALL Work Hard to Prove It
    I Know i’m Biased but i say ‘Go!’
    Come Back and Win This Thing
    WHO Will Be First/Next League First-Teamers?
    OR League MVP…?
    OR Next Signee?
    EACH Coach ‘Could’ Bring a Player ‘with him’

    Candidates: I’ll Preliminarily Nominate…
    Agent Zero, Janks, Negus, Roderick, MT, AV
    Whoah, Nellie
    WTH, Giddy-Up, ‘Bows!

  11. eagle:

    You ARE BACK IN FORM !! Coach Acker, bring the Energy ! Defense, Defense !!

    Me too. It is Now About the current team and staff. Very excited.
    Have to get that other matter straightened out, to see how
    many additions, and how long to keep the MBB program
    winnining and growing. Only thing, keeping Coach Ganot
    and Coach Acker here for a tenure, a long one if they
    are successful. I give honor to recent past team too,
    they were and are great staff and team, Warriors
    from 2014-15, forever record stands !!

    Eran, and staff, and Hopefully Jamie Smith too on board.
    Just win, win, win as jjay says, and go to Post season
    every year. MBB can have successful run of some 10 years !

    Go Bows!!


  12. ^^ Can you stop having a conversation with yourself. Thanks.

    Now let’s get some recruits!

  13. Again “You live and you learn. Don’t hold on to the past, it’ll take away from what’s in store for the future”.

    “Who wear short short?”, lol!

  14. S23A:

    we all just get excited for MBB. sorry, if go on.
    I am disabled, so this if my life, MBB, of course
    God and family first.

    Go Bows.
    n2o4joy, welcome back, one of original bloggers !
    Getting excited about the team again.
    And Fab Five and Henderson, Savo teams,
    AC Alika teams, can never ever forget. Alumni game coming
    up.. S23A.. go ahead blog away.. your turn !!
    Aloha bro !!
    or wahine !

  15. I like that we have two former JC head coaches and an associate head coach that is familiar with the Big West. Now let’s see if we can finish off this recruiting class.

  16. Thanks big daddy for your call for diversity, they heard you and agreed! Mainly for a State like Hawaii where we are very diverse and have the notion of ALOHA

  17. Doubt whether Eran hired Acker due to a comment here. He hires best fit regardless.

  18. any visits this weekend?….seen zane johnson at the market buying some beers so i guess he’s pau for the day

  19. RobT:

    That is Aloha,diverse staff, maybe a local coach Polynesian, fans of forum we just saying not making rules… and multi culture state, maybe bigdaddy did say? I think Eran very smart, have to have variety, and some younger guys Zane, and Chris, bring that energy.
    Now, I wonder If Eran sneaks in a Big from Australia, NZ or late DI transfer or JC?

    Go Bows !

  20. Welcome aboard Coach Chris.

    Here is a real impact player that we could use against Irvine. He will be a sophomore transferring from Providence: 7’2″, 226# C Paschal Chukwu.


  21. Unless eligible this year…sit out one year? Looks like he is thin though can fill out..more like 7’3″ !!
    RS? Then battle Mamadou in 2016-17?
    Eran..Chris Acker and staff…one great big this year or two..bangers..will help
    Ack Attack!!

  22. The staff would certainly like coaching this player.
    What happened at Providence? Can our staff help him with that?

  23. Paschal Chukwu is the real deal. From another blog; ‘The coach that recruited him left for Alabama a few weeks ago which also may have played a part in his decision’. And from another blog, he is ‘looking for a different college experience’. Article about Kansas wanting him to fill out their front line. Top ranked player all around. Maybe it’s asking a bit much of our coaching staff if they have not already established some kind of relationship with him, but he would be a very good get ! Who knows? UH would definitely provide ‘a different college experience’ .
    Go Bows!

  24. It keeps getting better and better!

    Coaching staff is now set. One good recruit in Canda and if not Chukwu, maybe a good BIG from New Zealand or Australia.

    With the way things are coming together, this should be a big incentive for everyone to return. Yo Yo Yo, Ike, you goin’ show up?

    Eagle – you talk about plans to Anaheim next year. Were you there this year? Will you be traveling to Las Vegas on Thanksgiving? Everyone should start making their plans for both trips. The Embassy Suites North in Anaheim is a really good place to stay. There were about 25 of us who were there this past tournament. About 12 minutes from the Honda Center. Nothing beats a fresh made to order omelet each morning, fresh fruits, yogurt, and OJ and coffee.

    For those of you who visit this blog and weren’t at the Big West tournament this past year, it is definitely something to plan for next year.

    We still need to support the coaches choice. It can only make us a better shooting team. Just give $10 or $20 if this is all you can afford. If we all did this, their new shooting machine would be here by end of summer.


  25. Pretty sure Chukwu will have to sit out a year.
    Still looking for some big for this year.
    Or teach our existing bigs some new moves.

  26. Always like to see our current players get minutes. …

  27. akuhead2:

    Way to go, and eagle too, just blog and keep the Positive vibe going for the Team, Still looks like 98% of team will be the 12 returnees if everyone back, including the 3 preferred walkons, and the 13th guy so far, Bryce Canda.
    Now Eran has his staff in place.. see if he can sign to financial agreement a Big, actually couple of Bigs.. need those bigs that can rebound and defend..then let the coaches, and team work on their shooting , the name of the game in HS, College and notice.. in the NBA playoffs.. shoot the 3, be the 3 !!

    Go Bows ~

  28. Chukwu isn’t coming here over Kansas lol

    A more realistic transfer option is Australian Jack Purchase who just got his release from Auburn. 6’8 and he can bomb it from deep. Perfect pick and pop big for Ganot. He’d sit out then have 3 for 3. I’d be shocked if he isn’t here on a visit soon.

  29. DB: 90%+ ON Anaheim (Need to Lock In Reservations)
    (We were The Second-Row Regulars)
    Liked Double-Tree (IRVINE) with Everything in Lobby, All Meals, Starbucks, etc.
    Krispy Kreme, Mall around the Corner
    Agree Also Hard to go wrong with Embassy Suites;

    Vegas 60-40 [Not Decided]
    WE Cook Most of the TG Meals
    BUT Looks Like Two More Low-Stress Wins

    Keep Winnin’ ‘Bows!
    Take ‘Em in Threes This Season
    Three-Bombs AND Three-of-Three in Tourneys
    [Maybe 4/4 for Vegas]

  30. Kansas is the same ol’ same ol’. We’ve got every every chance to get him ‘if’ he really is, as he is reported saying, ‘looking for a different college experience’. That’s Coach Ganot’s opening line, “Looking for a different college experience?”, that’s right, try UH. Go Bows ! Who knows, some people like poki !

  31. islandman,

    Your still unbelievable finding old articles. I vaguely remember that some of him, Crazy decision. Mahalo!

  32. Some of you guys are amazing. I couldn’t find anything on Purchase getting a release from Auburn. Nor anything on Chukwu. Looks like a good BIGs. Both need more weight to bang inside with the other BIGs.

    Whatever recruit Ganot gets, sure that they will help us in our pursuit of BWT contenders in March.

    Hey Eagle – My girl and I sat right next to you and your wife. Need to change my boyz tears of sadness from last years BWT to tears of exuberation. Can we stop by for TG?

    Here are my candidates:
    Big- Ike, Bobbit, AV, Janks, and MT
    Running – Ike, Bobbit, AV, Negus, Canda

  33. DaBoyz; Here is one list of transfers, take your pick:


  34. Dwight Coleby or Matt Pollard look like good possibilities even if only to fill in for a year.

    Let me put the ear to the ground and see what is going on up at the Campus.

    islandman – Thanks.

  35. Thanks dannyp.

    Anyone ever hear of this guy from New Zealand?

    Tohiraukura Milner-Smith, 6’9″, Forward

  36. There’s little sense in talking about players who have yet to establish contact with Hawaii, but … since you guys started it and since Ganot prefers to keep developments close to the vest until there is actual news to report … I found this about Purchase:

    The 6-foot-8 Purchase didn’t make much of an impact during his only season as a Tiger, as he played 91 total minutes and scored nine points. Purchase shot 21 percent from the field on the season and 13 of his 14 field goal attempts were from 3-point territory. A member of the silver-medal winning U17 Australian FIBA World Championship team, Purchase never found his footing with Auburn and will have a chance to find a better spot to continue his career.

  37. Personally, what we need is a banger inside. Somebody who can clog the middle, is hard-nosed, willing to use his body and wear people down. He doesn’t have to score a lot of points, but he does have to play tough defense, and give up tough fouls so people need to think twice. You can call it an enforcer if you want. If Jankovic can put on up to 25 to 30 pounds, he will be very tough to stop inside because he’s good offensively and has the mobility. That’s asking a lot, but we need some physical play inside to make the outside even better. Thomas needs to put on more weight too and muscle. It would have been interesting if Reyes had stayed. That 7’2″ C transfer from Providence is very athletic, but no way he’s coming here. A power team will gobble him up. If he comes here, Ganot should be coach of the year right now!!!!!! Like I said, no way, Jose! But, good luck trying

  38. Haim Shimonovich type.. 6’10” 290 pounder, from Israel, during, Riley Years..The guy was physical, smart player. Not real athletic, took up a lot of space. Could block some shots. Get some rebounds and pass the ball.

    maybe 2 more offers, depending on how many scholies UH is able to give out?
    Go NZ, Australia, Europe, eastern, France, Senegal,
    Canada,..bet Eran and staff check out those AAU or summer showcase tournaments.. late…under radar.. however, you are right Derek, out of USA.. the Good bigs are gone, or will not come to Hawaii…Have to get another under radar Vander, however more athletic and quick..Vander was a good one. just had to make quicker decisions.. not let ball get stuck in his hands for 7 seconds..

  39. Anyone remember Ryne Holliday ? He didn’t play much in four (2000 to 2003) seasons at UH. His name came up in a story about the Kahala properties that used to be owned by Genshiro Kawamoto.

    ” … now plays poker for a living and is married to a physician, also snapped up one of A&B’s early offerings. Holliday and his wife paid $2.7 million for a home that still had a working pool. “We really scored here,” he said.”

  40. I guess we Are All going off topic? about hire of Chris Acker?
    Sorry Dayton.
    I think Dayton is cool, just keep peace and civil.
    we Love UH MBB.. and that is it.. This site for all things Warrior Men’s Basketball !!

  41. Uhfanzonly1 – Yes, just a little off topic but I thought that this was a blog where discussions could be held and help ed-u-ma-cate some of us?

    I appreciate the knowledgeable people who are willing to share through this blog.

  42. Really cool, Dayton, wants us just to Give Peace a Chance, keep it civil.. Warrior Men’s Basketball, that is what makes this site rock !
    Very interesting,.. more froum members chime in, add to the MBB program interest the better. Have to love it, near June and we still talking UH MBB hoops !!

    DaBoyz808.. just keep blogging.. keep the MBB flame burning!!

  43. from other forum.. per social media.. NWC going pro.. hmmm.. one of the guys, a Gib recruit, that I thought might not be back. Hey, he would be an academic senior, if he finished strong this semester, He has had so many coaching changes.,..really mind blowing, change in coaching staff at Louisville, Mizzou, Hawaii 3 times.. wish NWC the best.. if it is confirmed..
    I would think the SA, the forums, blogs, and WI will have the latest..
    guess can go overseas… make good money over there.. IF TRUE.. we await the word tomorrow, May 26 2015.. Tuesday..

    Mahalo for being a Warrior NWC ! Best wishes on your future !

  44. The 7’2 Chukwu probably won’t give any of our Coaches a time of day. Man, talk about dreaming.

  45. islandman,

    I see a lot of properties for sale in the Diamond Head/Kahala area. Makes me wonder if it’s the added C&C added Richy Rich Tax and/or being in a flood zone for home insurance purposes.

  46. Good luck to NWC. He was very hot and cold this past season. More cold than anything. He definitely had a chance to be an impact player at UH. If true, this should allow Canda for more playing time and open up another scholarship

  47. If APR takes a hit and we lose scholarships from the sanctions we may not be able to fill the Scholarship vacated if this rumor is true.

  48. Jjay:

    not sure what going on.. from the Big Boy forum.. they are pretty certain from social tweets.. NWC is leaving.. I would think Eran would have comment..
    I hope, not, depends how team did in acdemics, or other.. concerns.. whether, one or two more guys leave.
    Heck , if I had free education, back over 40 years ago at UH.. I would stick it out.
    however.. Like MBB coaches in the past.. they want guys to stick it out, grad, and develop..
    IF TRUE.. Mahalo Negus !

    ISLANDMAN: any word on the world wide web, or NWC going pro or another school?
    I don’t know for sure..

  49. Well, it came out in SA, per Steve Murray on WSN.

    No wonder he took a longer spring break and didn’t seem to be taking finals ?

  50. Life goes on. Good luck to NWC. Can’t see him making it in NBA but who knows where else he could hook up. College not for everyone.

  51. Like Laura B lost 3 players in the last mid-season, two freshman.

  52. Negus mahalo for being a Rainbow Warrior !
    It was always your dream to play pro ball,
    whether in USA.. NBA or overseas.

    Best wishes.!
    Now question.. wonder if any other guys will move on, or made the grades?
    Otherwise, welcome, New Look team, really change over roster, ..
    We shall see..

  53. even Eran had to do one of those.. AS FAR as he knows, All guys work on getting academics in order, and Will Be coming back next year..
    Negus one guy I thought might opt for Pro.. time is right for him, and I respect him for that.. he is an adult.

    NWC.. start working out, get stronger, and represent Hawaii 808 !!

  54. I feel NWC should stay and play two more years, get his college degree and then go pro. He needs much work on shot consistency and not having lapses during games. If I was him, I would stay, but It is his life and his decision to make. It’s just my opinion.

  55. Uhf1 still hoping his predictions of mass turnover will happen. But that’s okay. More opportunity for Arran to prove he was right choice

  56. pupule: Not I am not going there..

    actually that was Wheels prediction, this past January, how he knew.. I guess he knew.. that there would be guys moving on.
    hey as you say, guys come and go.. I am just looking forward, to whatever product on court at SSC starting in Nov 2015.

    Wish Negus well, very nice guy..
    And that is that.. support the guys all the way..
    Bigdaddy 94, haven’t heard from him yet.. hope Isaac okay.
    and , again, it is choice of guys and their families, what can we as fans do? Nothing.. just support their choices, and wish future success..


  57. bet another player or 2 leaves as well

  58. “ALL Comin’ Back”, UH Admin said…
    As a (redshirt) Sophomore, playing out-of-Position, he still led the team in Threes Percentage 41% and Made (64)…
    Had Hoped Negus Would Stay because i think he would LIGHT it Up in Ganot’s Three-Offense…
    was looking Forward to NWC RE-Establishing The Three Records!
    BUT Negus, YOU DO All the Hard Work And Make the Decisions…

    Thanks for giving us TWO Seasons of Anticipation And Results!
    AND For Bringing Along Awesome Friends Like Janks!

    YOUR Winning Influence Will Continue @ UH Long After You Start Cashing Big Checks…

    HOPE You Also Consider Hawai’i a Second Home…
    Mahalo, Bro!

    Keep Workin’ Out with NBA’s Alan Wiggns & Co.
    Now Go Bulk Up And Light Up the Pros
    Aloha No!

  59. NWC is making a horrible decision. He needs to obtain a college degree.

  60. As I stated a while back he was having academic issues, to be more specific he didn’t fancy attending classes. I hoped that he would see the light and was hopeful he cleaned up his act but as others said school aint for everybody. Even if he plays ball til his mid 30’s which would be a very successful career he still has another 20-30 years of working in the real world. Hope he continues to work on his degree while playing ball. Coach Acker could probably tell him a thing or two about turning pro this early.

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