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Kamehameha coach of the year Nakanishi resigns, will be assistant at HPU

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:47 p.m. HST, Apr 5, 2011

Kamehameha Schools' boys basketball coach Jesse Nakanishi has resigned and will accept a position as an assistant with the Hawaii Pacific University men's basketball program.

Nakanishi guided the Warriors to a state title this past season and was named the Star-Advertiser's Coach of the Year this past Sunday. He also won the award after leading the Warriors to a state title in 2009.He was the head coach at Kamehameha for the past eight years and has been with the program for the past 12 years.

"I couldn't have asked for a better high school coaching position in the nation as I've gotten to work with high-achieving young Hawaiians at Kamehameha Schools, my alma mater, which I have and always will have tremendous pride in," Nakanishi said in a news release.

"The supportive administrative leaders, top-notch and loyal coaching staff, outstanding parents, and, of course, special players, year in and year out, have provided me memories I'll never forget.

"I will forever be appreciative of this wonder 12-year journey. I am just now moving on to the next chapter in my life coaching basketball at the collegiate level."

The 1995 graduate led the Warriors to two state championships in the past three years (2009 and 2011), advancing to the state championship game in each of the past three seasons.

The Warriors' title in 2009 was the first for the program since 1992. He also led the Warriors to state tournament berths in seven of his eight seasons.

"We're extremely happy and excited for Jesse," said Kamehameha Associate Athletic Director Blane Gaison in a statement. "This is a tremendous opportunity for him to pursue a coaching job at the higher level."

A search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

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