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Hannaryz lining up first coach

The Japan Times

The Kyoto Hannaryz, a bj-league expansion team, will announce the hiring of their first coach in early June, according to team spokesman Takushi Aso.

Kyoto general manager Junya Goto chose five finalists for the coaching job, Aso told The Japan Times during a phone conversation on Tuesday. One of those candidates dropped out, however, and so the team interviewed four coaches for the position.

In recent days, there has been speculation that former NBA player David Benoit would be hired to coach the Hannaryz. One league source told this newspaper that Benoit has already interviewed for the position.

When he was asked if Benoit will be Kyoto’s coach, Aso declined to comment. Furthermore, the team did not release the names of the remaining four finalists for the coaching job.

Benoit, who has coached the Saitama Broncos for the past two seasons, said he handed in his letter of resignation on May 1 and is looking for a new coaching opportunity. His current contract with Saitama expires on May 31.

Saitama went 21-23 in 2007-08 and 19-33 this season under Benoit.