CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Bob Nash has his eye trained on recruiting since the late signing period started last Wednesday and lasts until May 16.
Nash family endures together
Anxiety was replaced by elation when Bob Nash was named Hawaii head basketball coach Friday
Domelynne Nash's job normally wouldn't allow for her husband to call her at work.
She made an exception Friday morning.
"He called me and said, 'I want you to know that you're speaking to the new head basketball coach at the University of Hawaii,' " she said, her voice cracking just a bit. "A lot of emotion, because it's been an unbelievable experience."
Bob Nash endured the roller coaster that eventually ended with him being named the 18th head coach in the history of the Rainbow Warrior program. His family has been there to ride out every twist and turn along the way.
Family has been an integral part of Nash's association with the University of Hawaii from his playing days in the early 1970s to his 26-year ascent from graduate assistant to assistant coach to associate coach and, finally, head coach.
Domelynne was a UH cheerleader while Bob was a member of the Fabulous Five and both of their children attended the school, as well. Erika Nash got her undergraduate degree from Bradley and later earned a master's at UH. Bobby Nash will complete his eligibility with the Rainbows next season with his father as head coach.
"I think the four of them are just incredible," said UH associate coach Jackson Wheeler, who has worked with Nash for the last 17 years. "They give Bob all kinds of support. I'm always impressed by the spirit they have as a group."
Bobby Nash, a starting forward last season, will graduate from UH this semester with a degree in political science and had the option of transferring to another school to complete his playing career. But any such thoughts were distant following Friday's announcement.
"It's my last year, I'm here to stay," Bobby said. "There were rumors going around that I was thinking about transferring, but he's here and I'm here and that's the way it should be. I just want to go out and not only make him proud but the state of Hawaii, my teammates, everybody."
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Bob Nash's son, Bobby, and wife, Domelynne, attended the news conference where he was introduced as Hawaii's new head men's basketball coach.
Though his father is now calling the shots, Bobby has been made aware that doesn't mean he'll be cut any breaks.
"His father let him know before this process started," Domelynne Nash said, "He said, 'If I'm so fortunate to get it, there's no entitlement for you to be out there and be a starter. You're a member of the team just like everybody else.' "
Bob Nash applied that same thinking to his pursuit of the UH job and the opportunity to step in for Riley Wallace, the head coach he had served under for the last 20 years.
His longevity with the program fueled sentiment for his promotion, but he said he didn't feel he was owed the position.
"I never felt that there was any type of entitlement that I had on this job," he said. "I wanted to earn this position. I went about trying to earn this position by perfecting my skills and doing the things that I need to do, not because I've been here for a long period of time, but because I've proven that I'm a capable coach."
Working his way through the process created anxious days for Nash, and his family and the rest of the UH staff shared in the stress.
"There were days when we felt pretty above average," Domelynne said. "And then there days when you felt, 'We don't have a chance.' It's not easy to get a head coaching job anywhere. He knew it would be a tough, tough battle. ... There were days we really doubted he would be in there."
"I've been at home with him and it's just been a tough situation," Bobby Nash said. "He prepared himself well and handled the pressure very well."
There is quite a bit of business to take care of before Nash makes his debut as coach. But thoughts of watching him walk into the Stan Sheriff Center for the first time as head coach aren't far from the minds of his family.
"I think that's going to be an emotional day," Domelynne Nash said. "I don't think you can ever really prepare for it. Being an assistant or associate you have aspirations and you have these ideas that you want to do, and I think the first day he actually has to do it it'll be an emotional day for him. But he's so ready."