HONOLULU – University of Hawai‘i men’s basketball coach Eran Ganot finalized his assistant coaching staff on Friday, announcing the addition of Chris Acker as assistant coach for the Rainbow Warriors. Acker is the third and final assistant coaching hire for Ganot, joining the ‘Bows after tremendous coaching success at West Los Angeles College and Citrus College before that.
“I am thrilled to welcome Chris Acker back to Hawai‘i as a member of our coaching staff,” said Ganot of Acker who played collegiately at Chaminade University in Honolulu. “Chris is a man of great character, values mentorship, and comes from successful programs. He was a key component as associate head coach in building Citrus College into a championship program and, most recently, resurrected the program at West LA as head coach. I have always been a firm believer in focusing on development, on and off the court and in the classroom, and Chris has a unique gift in this area.”
“My family and I are so thankful to Eran Ganot and the University of Hawai‘i for allowing us to be a part of the men’s basketball program,” shared Acker. “This is a dream come true to be back in the state of Hawai‘i, a place that has always been very close to my heart. The ability to work and learn on a day-to-day basis under Coach Ganot and to work with the staff that he has assembled has me elated. Words cannot describe how I feel about this new journey in helping create this new ‘ohana and helping make UH basketball an exciting program to play for and one of the toughest to compete against.”
Acker comes to Hawai‘i after a successful two years as head coach at West Los Angeles College where he quickly turned around a fledgling program. In his first season at West LA, he coached a squad made up of 11 true freshmen, then served notice to California this past season, more than doubling his win total (18-9) and qualifying for the CCCAA regional playoffs.
Acker’s run at West LA was not the first time he enjoyed success coaching collegiately. Prior to West LA, he was an assistant coach, and later associate head coach, at Citrus College for six years. During his tenure at Citrus, the Owls won the California state championship in 2008, and made it to the Final Four two years later before losing in the championship game. Acker was also part of two Western State Conference championships and instrumental in Citrus boasting a remarkable 92-6 record during his tenure, the best six-year run in CCCAA history. Also during that span, over 40 of his Citrus players received full scholarships to four-year universities (Division I, II and NAIA) with many furthering their careers playing professionally in Germany, Colombia, Mexico, France, Asia, and in the NBA Developmental League.
Originally from Compton, Calif., Acker played two years of community college basketball before finishing his collegiate playing career at Chaminade. He was a key contributor for the Silverswords, helping them to an upset win in 2003 over Villanova at the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Acker took his career to the next level and played professionally overseas in Portugal and Greece before returning to the US to play in the Continental Basketball Association with the Pittsburgh Explosion.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix and recently earned his Master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University Irvine.
“Chris takes great pride in every individual in his program, while they are there and after they are gone,” added Ganot. “He has a keen understanding and affection for Hawai‘i and I couldn’t be more excited to welcome back Chris, his wife, Jennifer, and his two sons, Malakai and Elijah!”