Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Ganot is a finalist for several national coaching awards

The University of Hawaii men's basketball team defeats Long Beach State and captures the championship of the 2016 Big West Tournament at the Honda Center, Anaheim, CA on March 12, 2016. Photo: Brandon Flores.

University of Hawai’i head coach Eran Ganot’s first-year success at the helm of the Rainbow Warriors has not gone unnoticed.

Ganot is on elite short lists for several national coaching awards after leading Hawai’i to unprecedented success this past season.

Most impressive, he is one of 21 finalists for the Jim Phelan Award, which goes to the nation’s top NCAA Division I head coach. Among the other names on the list are Bill Self of Kansas, Roy Williams of North Carolina, Jay Wright of Villanova, Tony Bennett of Virginia and Tom Izzo of Michigan State.

Ganot is also one of 21 finalists for the Hugh Durham Award, which goes to the nation’s top mid-major head coach. One of his mentors, Randy Bennett of Saint Mary’s, is also on that list.

Ganot is also one of 10 finalists for the Joe B. Hall Award, which goes to the nation’s top Division I rookie head coach; and one of six finalists Red Auerbach Award, which goes to the nation’s top Jewish head coach.

All four awards will be announced this weekend in Houston, Texas, site of the NCAA Final Four.

Ganot guided the Warriors to a 28-6 record, including the Big West Conference regular-season championship, Big West Conference Tournament championship, and the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history. The 28 wins in a season is a school record, and he was already named Big West Conference Coach of the Year.

CLICK HERE to read more about the coaching awards from www.collegeinsider.com


  1. Hope we lock up EG for a long time.

  2. We have some talent here, some go to the mainland like Avea and Sueing. We have had many top athletic and tall Div I volleyball players that also played basketball at Hawaii high schools. Maybe they could have been Div I basketball players if they concentrated on that sport.

  3. Coach deserts at least 2 of these niceties considered that the challenging conditions was confronted him!

  4. islandman, you are right that a lot of the top talent for basketball has been going away to play high school on the mainland and easy to see why. All the big boys in Hawaii grow up told to play football and volleyball if they want to “get scholarship.” There has never been competition for top level basketball here and so there is no top level coaching also. The local mentality of youth basketball as a secondary sport to football and baseball and volleyball need to change, but I don’t think it will any time soon.

  5. Chuck, I actually believe that the basketball coaching in Hawaii is pretty good. The difference between Hawaii and the west coast is size and athleticism. Demographics play a big part as Hawaii is one of the few states that is a majority asian. I’m a high school coach in Cali and bring my boys to Hawaii occasionally and am impressed by the toughness of local teams and the coaching. Another thing that really sets Hawaii back is the lack of a shot clock which allows teams to play stall ball. Just my opinion.

  6. Well deserved, Ganot! I’m sure Ganot will stay at UH for at least four years, which is when his first true recruiting class will be seniors.

    As for high school sports in Hawaii, one sport that Hawaii should focus on developing is soccer. It’s one of the few sports where player size really doesn’t matter – look at Messi, Maradona, and Matthieu Valbuena. Also, Hawaii’s weather really allows it to be played comfortably year round. There’s quite a bit of talent here too but there’s also a lack of good coaches capable of further developing that talent.

    Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, and there are a couple dozen countries that have good professional leagues that pay very well. This is in stark contrast to football which really only has the NFL, and basketball which, other than the NBA, only has a few leagues that pay fairly well but nowhere near as much as soccer leagues.

    Soccer is gaining in popularity in the US at a far faster rate than any other sport. The MLS is growing (Will Ferrell and Magic Johnson are co-owners of new LA soccer club; David Beckham is expanding league to include a new Miami team) and attracting a lot of famous international talent. The US Men’s National Team is perhaps among the world’s most improved team after Belgium, and the US Women are already the best team in the world.

    UH should really consider having a men’s soccer team.

  7. PONO, I do not mean disrespect for any local basketball coaches because you are right there are some good ones. I meant that in sports like football and baseball and volleyball, there are some local coaches who are recognized as “great” on the national level. These are usually guys who played at the highest level and come back to coach local kids. There are no guys like that over here for basketball, so the cycle continues. You are right that size is a problem here, but no reason that Hawaii can not be a training ground for guards. Or get some of the big boys to believe from a young age that basketball can be the first option.

    That will be really hard because right now the football and baseball options are working out too good for some of the local families to pass up. Pros like Mariota and Kolten Wong are big role models. Nobody like that for basketball kids to look up to.

  8. D1 local talent: Rocha.Sensley.Low. Hallums.Akana.Smith.Mcgee.Nash. Pineau.Bell.Dunham.
    Geremey Robinson working hard on developing
    Young Hawaii youth to focus on basketball. Maybe
    Next 5 years. True basketball only local athletes.
    Next season maybe Zach Buscher plays more. Hopefully!!

  9. Brian McInnis Retweeted
    Jason Belzer ‏@JasonBelzer 4h
    Congrats to @EranGanot of @HawaiiMBB for winning the JCA’s Red Auerbach National Coach of the Year Award

  10. Buscher #1. It ain’t easy being #1 in anything. Now, start increasing that paltry scoring average!

  11. Congrats to Ganot for that award. I guess that makes him a more likely candidate for coaching elsewhere, sigh.
    I wonder which is the most prestigious of the coaching awards.

  12. Hope Villanova wins, they haven’t been caught cheating yet like University of N Carolina. Roy Williams and Boeheim can go on coaching, but less famous school coaches get axed.

  13. no d1 school will offer ganot based on one good season

  14. A d1 school offered Ganot with no experience.

  15. Benjy was not a finalist for the Hugh Durham award last year, which was won by Brian Katz. He was named for the mid-season award which was not awarded this year.

  16. Thanks, islandman.

  17. Mahalo for DELETING Irrelevant Detracting Comments


    Congratulations COACH & Staff
    (It Really IS A STAFF Award)

    I HOPE HE WINS The Non-Denominational Award
    Doesn’t ‘Bother’ Me To Have a Polynesian or BLACK or Muslim Coach of Year…
    BUT GO WIN The BIG Ones

    June Was National Coach of Year

  18. Guess soon even this week Aaron. Mike and Jonanovic big decisions to make. Aaron would be huge impact player overseas with good pay. Wish them best moving forward!! Whatever best for them and their families. Thanks to 4 juniors for great 2015-16 ride!!

  19. Eagle. and fans just being real. Great year we thank all. Truth is this year a challenge. And team will mature from it. That is what makes great adults! Wish Biws best!
    Always support good student athletes! Okay now,,,

  20. I’m not saying good bye to anyone just yet. Wish Janks the best for his NBA chances, but otherwise its still pedal to the metal for another great season next year.

  21. A legit d1 school thats worth leaving for

  22. Valdes would be fit greatly by honing his skills another year with the present coaches on staff. Inconsistency in offense has plagued his game at times. One game 17 pts the next game 4 pts. , playing better defense without unnecessary fouls.

  23. If AV returns he’ll average 19 to 22 PPG, 7 RBs, and 3 assists/game. All conference and Player of the Year leading vote getter. Thomas if he returns will have double digit scoring and 7-8 rebounds per game. Jovanovic will increase to about 6-9 points per game and 7-8 rebounds.

  24. Really feel for team. The remaining juniors and the hard working walkons. This year once in 14 year and first time in 44 years ncaa win. Wonder if warriors will be ranked in top 30 at least after season done? Hope so. We got to see wvb championship. a mvb champioship. Baseball world series and softball wahine world series. Plus Sugar bowl team.
    UH off season key.should be intersting who on roster next year. They will be max effort guys for sure!!

  25. Jay and derek,
    You’re wasting your energy wishing about aaron. He gone. He had a great career. Time to move on.

  26. You can tell the difference in the officiating at the NCAA Tournament vs regular games: they don’t call every little ticky tack foul. That’s the way the game should be played. Some officials think that they need to blow the whistle at every opportunity in order to justify their stripes. I wonder if some will ever notice that maybe less is more? But then again, just like athletes, some get it and some don’t.

  27. Servante, exactly!!
    Been noticing the same thing. These are the best of the best, as graded throughout the season, so let’s hope other refs watch and learn!

  28. WeeBleedGreen.

    AV. Had great run would not doubt he does his own research on New Zealand. Spain.Germany. best fit.looks like Valdes get his degree. He fufilled his ncaa hoop dreams! Janks and AV be awesome pros. Tweet ex warriors how it is in euro. Ball. AV would have to have Desyne Wade handles to play in nba. They ARE NOT Zcareer students. Future retirees in hawsii after pro career makes sense.

    Ganot work for real now. Put a good product on court minus about 6 or 7 key guys. Matlin has to give him rais And assistants. Assists 2. For son and jey!

  29. Aloha Warrior Insiders !

    Wish nothing BEST for all UH players who must make a decision staying or leaving UH basketball. Never in my mind I ever thought of leaving UH but times has changed on players decision process and dealing with NCAA probation. I’m sure Ganot will be on the recruiting trail as in all reality that makes your program surviving getting quality student athletes !

    On another note I am hoping any one of you posters can help me. I am spearheading a Hawaii basketball reunion of the 1970-80 era in Las Vegas, October 3rd-7th. Over 30 players of that era will be attending this reunion with their wives and family members. One in particular Henry Hollingsworth of the 1975-76 season who played along with the late freshmen guard sensation Reggie Carter. We both are seeking any of you avid dedicated fans who may have game tapes of that team playing can copy to dvd for Henry to have honoring his back court teammate and good friend.

    IF any one on this post can help please e-mail me cliffsanchezatgeemaildotcom as we will PAY for a copy and your time. With that being said the 1976-77-78 season all the way through 81 if game tapes any one of you may have. We would like to show past games during that time at the reunion as ALL of us has not seen our time playing back then in that retro golden era since out playing days a span of 35 years past.

    Will appreciate Greatly !

  30. Ganot wins Rookie Coach of the Year Award

  31. Congrats to coach Ganot on the award.

  32. Congratulations to coach Ganot. That’s a tremendous accomplishment.

    I am the first to admit that I was skeptical when Ganot was first hired. But he has proven to me and Hawaii fans that he is a winner and the state needs to rally around and support him. Any sponsors?

    Although there is a blip in the radar concerning the NCAA sanctions, it will soon be a thing of the past and we can look forward to bigger and better things from the coaching staff and the mens basketball program. Let’s hope that Ganot will sow his roots into Hawaiian soil because a long commitment is required for this program to rise into national prominence. We’ve had some great assistant coaches come through our program and Ganot is one of them. The next big obstacle is the recruiting trail. It’s no surprise that we have a tough sell in attracting talent here so far in the Pacific Ocean. But we got all the makings of a great program: coach, arena, fan base, environment. All we need now is to attract those players that can fit into the system and take this program to greater heights. It should be a no brainer to look at this program and, though we’ve had to go through some choppy waters in the past 2 years, see that we have proven that we can win and be competitive here in the Pacific.

    And it starts with the remaining seniors. Does it make any sense to transfer to another school when this program will be your legacy? Why not help continue to build on what you started? Because in the end you will have played a historical role in the development of this program. We all need to come together and see the big picture: assure that this program reach new heights and position yourselves to a great senior season and pro aspirations.

    Looking forward to the new season.

  33. Re: $ in foreign leagues… You don’t have to be in the top leagues to make good money. Twenty years ago, a friend of mine made $60k/yr playing in Austria and a few lesser leagues. Great money back then and still good money for a recent grad who wants to see the world. The problem is that in smaller leagues, job security can be iffy.

  34. Only reason we went far was because of the talent. not the coaches. when it came down to crunch time and the coaches we’re in trouble the only people that brought us the wins were the players.

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