Three Finalists Announced For UHH Men’s Hoops Coaching Job

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A five-person selection committee has finished the process of narrowing down 361 applications for the University of Hawai`i at Hilo men’s basketball head coaching position down to three.

UH Hilo announced the selection committee’s recommendations Tuesday to athletics director Dexter Irvin. Guy Beach, associate coach of Panola College in Texas, Steven Kinder, head coach of Humboldt State’s men’s basketball team, and Mark Nelson, assistant coach of Grand Canyon University, will vie for the job vacated by Jeff Law, who left in March to become the head coach at Western New Mexico University.

Irvin told Big Island Now that one of the candidates was interviewed Tuesday. He plans to interview the other two Wednesday and plans to give his selection to the school’s chancellor, Dr. Donald Straney, by the beginning of next week.

Beach has coaching experience at various levels of college basketball. He recently completed his first season as an assistant coach at Panola College, a member of the

Panola assistant coach Beach. Photo courtesy: Panola College.

Panola assistant Guy Beach. Photo courtesy: Panola College.


National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). He has also assisted at the College of Eastern Utah, Fresno State, and Texas El-Paso.

Beach has head coaching experience as well, compiling a 103-25 record in four seasons between Southern Utah and the College of Southern Idaho. Before Panola, however, he spent time in the National Basketball Association’s D-League, where he assisted on the 2007-2008 league champion Idaho Stampede team.

Kinder has spent very little time away from Humboldt State, where he has been the head coach for the past three seasons. Born in 1963, the current head coach of the Lumberjacks

Steve Kinder. Photo courtesy: Humboldt St. Sports Information.

Humboldt St. coach Steve Kinder. Photo courtesy: Humboldt St. Sports Information.


played for the school on its national championship team in 1985 and assisted long time coach Tom Wood for 20 years. Before his current stint at Humboldt State, he spent a year as head coach at Oceanside High School and was an assistant at U.S. International University.

Kinder has achieved a lot in three years, winning two California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championships and appearing in two National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournaments. He garnered a slew of awards following the 2010-2011 season, including NCAA Division II Coach of the Year, National Association of Basketball Coaches West District Coach of the Year, and California Collegiate Athletics Association Coach of the Year.

Nelson has been to UH Hilo several times over the past few seasons as an assistant coach at Grand Canyon University, a former member of the PacWest Conference. GCU is moving up to Division I status and the Western Athletic Conference.

GCU Assistant Mark Nelson. Photo courtesy: GCU Sports Information.

GCU assistant Mark Nelson. Photo courtesy: GCU Sports Information.


The Pittsburg, Kan. native has played in two NCAA tournaments as a member of the Kansas State Wildcats. He has also coached current NBA stars Deron Williams, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh as an assistant with the U.S. Junior National Team. His head coaching resume includes a combined 243 wins at Butler County, Cowley County, and Wabash Valley.

Members of the selection committee include current women’s basketball coach David Kaneshiro, Gary Klein, sales consultant at Big Island Toyota, Dr. Randy Hirokawa, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UHH, Pam Knox, UH Hilo’s assistant athletic director and senior women’s administrator, and Christine Iha, secretary to College of Pharmacy dean John Pezzutto.

According to the position description from UHH’s Human Resources Department, the selected candidate is slated to start in June. Zac Zepponi, an assistant coach under Law this past season, is currently overseeing the program until a full-time hire is made. Zepponi was one of the 361 people who applied for the job following Law’s departure.

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