MANOA – (HawaiiNewsNow) – The Bob Nash era in Manoa is over after the University of Hawaii fired the men's basketball coach Monday morning. UH Athletic Director, Jim Donovan, says a national search for a replacement is officially underway.
Donovan says firing Nash was one of the most difficult things he's ever done, "If I could make a decision based on emotion we wouldn't be here today, but from a business standpoint I had told Bob when we met 10 days ago that getting into the WAC in 8th place wasn't enough. There was no one who was in Bob's camp more than me."
Nash has had a relationship with UH since the early 1970's when he was member of the famed fabulous five -- one of the best teams in school history. Nash was hired as an assistant coach in 1984 and he took over as head coach three years ago. If the team won 18 games, Nash's contract would have been expanded through 2011-12.
However, the Rainbow Warriors just wrapped up their season 10-20 overall, 3-13 in the Western Athletic Conference. Donovan says attendance has dropped and so have ticket sales, "11 wins, 13 wins, 10 wins is not enough. What would it have looked like next year, was one of my main concerns. The swing from winning or losing is anywhere from a quarter to a half million dollars a year so this is substantial considering the budget deficit we are running."
The university is buying Nash out of his contract, he was due to make about $240,000. Donovan says Nash's salary will be paid out through private donors and fund raising, meaning there will be no impact to other areas of the university.
Donovan says the search for a new coach has already begun. Donovan also said the window to bring in a successor is two to three weeks. The projected pay scale for the new hire will be in the range of $185,000 - $400,000 -- those numbers are established by the Board of Regents.
The university certainly wants a new coach in place within the next two weeks so the coach has a chance to get out and recruit his own players.