Kyle Smith and Eran Ganot have five years of experience sitting on the same bench, but for the first time the former Saint Mary’s assistants will sit opposite one another, when Washington State and Hawaii meet in an early nonconference game this fall.
Hawaii’s nonconference schedule, released by the school Tuesday, revealed the Rainbow Warriors will meet the Cougars in UH’s season opener on Nov. 11 in Honolulu as part of the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.
The Cougars haven’t released their nonconference schedule, so it’s unclear if that game will also serve as WSU’s opener. If it does, it’ll be the first time since 2014 the Cougars open outside of Pullman and the first time since 1993 they open outside the continental United States.
Smith was an assistant for Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett from 2001-10 and overlapped twice with Ganot, who worked as a volunteer assistant for the Gaels from 2003-06 before leaving to become an assistant at Hawaii and returning to Moraga, California, in 2010 as a full-time assistant.
During his time at Hawaii, first-year WSU football coach Nick Rolovich developed a close friendship with Ganot, regularly attending UH basketball games.
When Rolovich accepted the job in Pullman, Ganot told local reporters, “I’ll miss him. I’ll miss his family. Really proud of who he is, what he’s about, what he’s done for our program, and for our university.”
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