Donovan interviews 3 candidates in L.A.


POSTED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Three candidates were slated for interviews for the open Hawaii men's basketball coaching position with UH athletic director Jim Donovan yesterday and today in Los Angeles, sources said.

They are Southern Miss associate head coach Steve Barnes, Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti and Colorado associate head coach Steve McClain.

Sources also confirmed Saint Mary's associate head coach Kyle Smith, former USC assistant coach Gib Arnold, and Chaminade coach Matt Mahar interviewed in Honolulu prior to the trip.

Candidates were unavailable for comment. As part of the interview process, they have been asked not to give statements to the media.

It's been more than a week since the firing of head coach Bob Nash, the three-year coach and former legendary Rainbow Warriors player. Donovan may have to work quickly if he is to acquire the services of Smith or Arnold, who have emerged as leading candidates.

Arnold's name has appeared among contenders for the vacant Boise State men's job, and Smith is next in line to take over SMC if head coach Randy Bennett departs for greener pastures following the Gaels' run in the NCAA Tournament starting Friday vs. Richmond.


But UH has options from the veteran ranks. All three of today's interviewees have Division I coaching experience at current or former Western Athletic Conference schools.

Giacoletti coached four years at Eastern Washington, going 69-50, and took the Eagles to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004 out of the Big Sky Conference. He then took over at Utah, posting a 29-6 season in 2004-05 and winning Mountain West coach of the year. His three-year record with the Utes was 54-40. This is his third season with the powerhouse Bulldogs.

Barnes went 39-51 in three years at San Jose State from 1999 to 2002.

Over his first two years at SJSU, he managed records of 15-15 and 14-14, the first back-to-back years of .500 ball at SJSU since the mid-1980s. He's in his sixth year with Southern Miss.

McClain went 157-115 with Wyoming from 1999 to 2007. He guided the Cowboys to one NCAA Tournament appearance and an opening-round victory in 2002. He's been with the Buffaloes for three years.

After their interviews, Barnes and Giacoletti will have to quickly return to their teams for postseason action. Barnes' Golden Eagles (20-13) play at Louisiana Tech in the Tournament first round tomorrow, while Giacoletti's Bulldogs (26-6) play Florida State in Buffalo, N.Y., on Friday.

McClain's season is over with the 14-14 Buffs.

Sources confirmed that applicants Jeff Law (Hawaii-Hilo coach and former UH assistant), Joe “;Jellybean”; Bryant (Kobe Bryant's father and former Los Angeles Sparks WNBA coach), and Micheal Ray Richardson (former NBA player and pro minor league coach) have not been granted interviews.