Last season, both Jim Shaw and Eran Ganot departed the Saint Mary’s men’s basketball program to become head coaches. Shaw at his alma mater, Western Oregon University, and Ganot for his former employer, the University of Hawai’i.
Both coaches have achieved success quickly in their new positions.
Ganot’s Rainbow Warriors won a share of the Big West Conference regular season title then captured the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championships with a tournament title over Long Beach State. UH plays Cal in the NCAA Championships first round Friday in Spokane, Wash.
Shaw’s Wolves captured the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title, then won the NCAA Division II West Region with a win over UC San Diego in the regional finals. The team plays in the national semifinals on March 23.
Interestingly, Shaw’s Western Oregon side nearly faced former SMC assistant Rick Croy’s Cal Baptist team in the regional final. The Lancers dropped a 2-point decision to UCSD in the semifinals.