Hawaii men’s basketball associate head coach Benjy Taylor will coach for the duration of the 2014-15 season, UH athletic director Ben Jay said in a statement Friday.
Taylor became the acting head coach on Tuesday when former head coach Gib Arnold and assistant Brandyn Akana were fired by the university amid an NCAA investigation into the program. However, there was no assurance in the immediate aftermath that Taylor would be allowed to actually coach the season.
Taylor received assurance on Friday that he is the program’s 20th head coach.
"I’ve been informed that I am the Acting Head Coach for the rest of the year," Taylor wrote in a text message.
"Benjy will provide leadership and guidance for the UH men’s basketball program, while ensuring that our student-athletes continue to pursue athletic and academic success," Jay’s statement read. "The student-athletes expressed to me their desire to have Benjy at the helm and that is how we will proceed as we prepare for the start of the 2014-15 season."
UH has a closed-door scrimmage against Brigham Young-Hawaii on Saturday and an exhibition against Hawaii Pacific University on Thursday. The regular-season opener is Nov. 14 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.
Taylor, a native of Jacksonville, N.C., is a former Division I head coach at Chicago State University from 2007-10. His best season came in 2008-09 when he led the Cougars to a 19-13 record. That team finished third nationally in scoring and steals.
He played college basketball at Richmond from 1985-1989.
He joined Arnold’s staff as a standard assistant in 2010, then was promoted to associate head coach before the 2011-12 season, replacing Walter Roese.
Taylor was also a head coach at Division III North Central College, from 2001-04. He assisted at multiple stops before UH, including Tulane, Indiana State, Pepperdine, Northern Illinois, The Citadel, Cornell and Richmond.