Eran Ganot came into the Hawaii basketball job knowing his first staff hire would be a big one. In terms of setting the tone for the group he planned to assemble and culture he hoped to build, getting it right was paramount.
That hire is now known. It is Pacific’s top assistant, Adam Jacobsen, a man who’s been with the Tigers for most of this century and was a player for the Orange and Black prior to that.
UPDATE: Here’s quotes from Ganot and Jacobsen given Friday in a UH press release.
“We are thrilled to have Adam on board as he checks all the boxes,” said Ganot. “Adam is a man of tremendous character, work ethic, and really cares about his players. He has a proven track record of success as a coach and a player and is fired up to be part of the Rainbow Warrior basketball program. As an added bonus, he has a great understanding of the Big West Conference, having been part of five league titles as a coach and two more as one of Pacific and the conference’s best players. Please join me in welcoming Adam, his wife DeAnn and children Presley, Ava, and Luke to our Ohana!”
Jacobsen said: “I’m excited to be working with Coach Ganot and building a program with the goal of winning Big West championships and making NCAA Tournament runs. I believe in Coach Ganot and the kind of person he is and the type of program he’ll run. I’m also excited about working with the staff at the University of Hawaii and enjoying all the support we get from the community.”
What’s not yet known is what capacity Jacobsen will serve on Ganot’s staff. Will he be the associate head coach, a position he held at Pacific for the last two years? Or will he be a standard assistant? Logic would seem to dictate the former (though it is not a given).
The Tigers have had a rough go of things in the two years since they left the Big West for the much tougher West Coast Conference. But you can bet Jacobsen, a California native, is still very familiar with the lay of the land in the BWC.
Here’s an interesting read in the Los Angeles Times archives about Jacobsen’s prolific playing career, in which he became the Big West career leader in 3-pointers made. (That record of 311 has since been broken by former UC Davis guard Ryan Sypkens).
The Adam that was recently thought to be Ganot’s first hire, Adam Caporn, didn’t pan out, though he was said to be in discussion for a staff post for a time. The Australian connection Caporn might have represented was promising, and it will be interesting to see if Ganot can replicate that with a future hire.
Ganot has two more full assistants to bring aboard and a full complement of scholarships to assign. From the sound of things, scheduling is very much still a work in progress. Also, UH’s date to respond to the NCAA notice of allegations is drawing nigh — the end of the month.
Ganot departed for the mainland Thursday night — what’s believed to be his first flight back there since being introduced as UH coach on April 9.