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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wanna be an AD? Update: Recruiting news; Update 2: Colt bashed, yet smiling

Do you fit the qualifications? If HF could (not) do it, you could too! Nah, we really need a good guy with local ties to fix this mess... Hopefully we get the right guy for the job this time. Not sure how we ended with up with that last guy, what was his name?

Wonder if these were the same quals last time around:
(excerpt)....Responsibilities include directing the long-range planning and implementation strategies of the department; strengthening and promoting the University’s athletics program and solidifying its success and recognition; managing public relations, media, and marketing initiatives; taking effective measures to ensure the fiscal soundness of the program and fair and responsible personnel actions; achieving success in resource development and fundraising initiatives; and promoting the personal, academic and athletic development and achievement of student athletes.....

Mr. Lewis' column today has plain-english translations to the above posting.
What it says: "Effectively build relationships with other academic institutions ..."

What it means: Know who to call to fill the freakin' football schedule on time.

UPDATE: Mr. Reardon reports that it went well up on the North Shore.
- from the same article, confirmation that Mule LB star Laurel is headed our way.

Update 2:
- and Finally, a guy who supports Colt. More quotes from the Senior Bowl.

I sought Brennan in Mobile, Ala., during Senior Bowl week to see how he was handling the bashing. I wondered if he would be defensive, maybe even a little testy. Instead, Brennan was smiling. And he should have been.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Coach Mack's local recruiting efforts

Recruits list so far, UH Super draft **Correction**

Mr. Tsai has a list of verbal commitments in his WB blog.

A scholarship also has been offered to All State linebacker Art Laurel, from Leilehua.

Mr. Reardon also reports that we may get a bonus QB recruit Andrew Trudnowski along with the WR Jeramy Bryant we got last week from Los Angeles Harbor College. More details about Bryant in that article.

And UH recruiting up on the North Shore? JJ never paid a visit, but this is Coach Mack's team now... Way to go.
*** Correction *** JJ and other past UH coaches did visit the North Shore. The wrong news has been floating around. In Tsai's blog today he wrote this:

Comment from: Stephen [Member]
It appears somebody misinterpreted a comment made yesterday. While UH head coaches (Mike Cavanaugh, Rich Miano, Wes Suan, Dan Morrison, June Jones) have visited the North Shore in the past, including a memorable meeting two years ago, it had been 12 years since a UH head coach made a home visit to a recruit before McMackin's stopovers today.
I thought it was clear from the original text.

Coach Mack's Super Games draft to be held Friday. One way to make the spring workout sessions competitive and fun both in the weight room and in the classroom. Advertiser's take on it here too.

And what do you guys think about UH running the Aloha Stadium? Watch the news clips from yesterday for more info on this.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One more coach added, Update: Super Games & video

Ikaika Malloe, Kamehameha grad, UW alum, joins the UH staff as the new D-Line coach. Below are the misc articles.

Advertiser's Tsai's coverage

Star Bulletin's Kaneshiro's coverage

He's coming to us from UTEP. Here's his bio from the Miner website.

Again, more to come as it pops up and video to follow tonight as well.

Update: Super Games! Mack makin' workin' out fun... reported by Reardon.

Here's tonight's news: Interviews with our new Coach Malloe. Also talk about UH running Aloha Stadium.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Aranda introduced. Update: News up - Aranda, Colt, Bess, RGM

Sorry, I know I'm slow, but not this slow with the news. Just not much happening. Kinda weird after the non stop news blitz these last few months.

Only got one story today, UH officially announces Dave Aranda as D-Line coach.

maybe there'll be some news clips tonight that I'll upload later.

Update: Its later, and there were some news on tv. Phone interview with Colt about his weekend. Live interview with the new Coach. And catching up with Bess & RGM at their autograph signing this weekend.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday recruiting news, Colt @ Sr Bowl

Sorry, I'm not up to Tombo's speed and didn't get the scoops, but here's what I've found so far for recruits we've gotten this weekend.

Mr. Tsai reports we got 3 JC recruits; 1 WR & 2 CBs.

Here's Mr. Reardon's Star Bulletin report on it.

Rivals reports it looks like we lost WR Attrail Snipes, who chose to be a Kansas State Wildcat. All I can say is why would any WR not come here? Hopefully our guys get drafted high this year to change that in the future. Best wishes to him.

And Doris "all-everything" Sullivan answers Tsaiko questions here in today's Warrior Beat in regards to local recruiting.

more to come as I find it.

Update: Oh, and here's the local news of Colt @ the Senior Bowl yesterday. Sure he didn't play well, but who did? Look at the score. All I can say is this. All-Star games are hard to judge anyone's talent. It's the week leading up to the games that give the scouts, coaches, etc, the best look at the players. How do you create a team in one week and expect them to play like a team cohesively without errors? I'd say its easier for defenses to react than for offenses to produce.

Programming Note

I'll be gone on a business trip from today (Sunday) until Thursday, and my internet access will be limited. So hopefully Chawan Cut (nudge nudge) can post any breaking news about new coaching hires or recruiting commits while I'm away. In fact we should use this post to praise all the fine work Chawan does. Whether it's his Youtube videos, his opponent schedules, his lego masterpieces, etc., he is one of the die-hardest, school-spiritiest UH fans out there, doing all this crazy work so we can experience and enjoy UH that much more. So let's praise Mr. Cut!

Or you can check the places we normally check for breaking news:

The Warrior Beat
UH Sports Extra
Sportshawaii.com's football forum
Warrior Sports Network.

And there are a bunch of other links in the sidebars -- the news stations, newspapers, other blogs, etc. I'll try to post at least once a day.


Dave Aranda Hired, Colt, AAFL

Jason Kaneshiro writes about UH's newest coaching hire, Dave Aranda.
Aranda's connection with McMackin goes back to Texas Tech, where he spent three years working with the then-Red Raiders defensive coordinator as a graduate assistant, concentrating on the defensive ends.

"I'm thankful to be here, it's good to be reunited with Coach McMackin for sure," he said.

"I know it's going to be a great situation with a lot of guys returning and a lot of talent. I know Coach McMackin is very excited about the front seven. I'm looking forward to it."

Aranda served as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Delta State last season, where he helped the Statesmen to a 10-2 record and a Gulf South Conference title. The Statesmen led Division II in pass efficiency defense and were second in total and scoring defense.
Stephen Tsai writes about one of Aranda's coaching techniques.
Aranda will bring a unique — and modern — approach to coaching. Skilled in multi-media techniques, he has used computer-generated visual aids to help his players.

For instance, he produced a video interspersing footage of an All-Pro defensive lineman and one of his defensive ends. The video was synchronized to music.

A defensive end "might say, 'OK, (the All-Pro) is leaning this way, I might want to do that,' " Aranda said. "You want to do all kinds of fun stuff."
Ferd Lewis writes about the blend of youth and experience the new staff has.
The addition of 29-year-old Nick Rolovich to coach the quarterbacks, 28-year-old Brian Smith to coach the offensive line and 31-year-old Dave Aranda to coach the defensive line is giving the Warriors a welcome youthful tint it hasn't had for years. The fact that the Warriors are doing it largely by choice and, hopefully, not by tapped-out budget constraints would be a good sign.

Clearly the "geriatric staff" — as some staff members came to jokingly refer to themselves — made that experience pay off with an 11-3 finish in 2006 and record 12-1 showing in 2007.

But the change in head coaches also affords UH an opportunity to rebuild — and reload — its coaching staff for the future. It offers an opening to bring in "younger blood" as assistant coach Ron Lee likes to put it. Not to mention fresh perspectives.
Welcome to Coach Aranda!


Arthur L. Mack writes about Colt Brennan's performance in yesterday's Senior Bowl.
"It was a great game (as a whole)," Brennan said. "I wish I could have played a lot better. But our team had a great chemistry and it's been a fun week. I just hope I can work out in the next couple of months and get bigger and stronger and have a great combine."
"He (Brennan) couldn't get the plays because of the microphone problems, and it caused him to be a little bit discombobulated," said San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who was part of the South squad coaching staff. "But he had a great week of practice. He'll be fine (in the NFL) because he sees things so well and gets the ball out quick."

And finally, three former UH players were selected in the inaugural All American Football League draft.
Defensive lineman Lawrence Wilson was the first Warrior taken in the 50-round draft, going to Texas in the seventh round with the 39th overall pick. Defensive back Abraham Elimimian went to Tennessee in the 10th round with the 59th pick. Receiver Chad Owens was picked by Texas in the 48th round.
You can learn more about this upstart league at their official website.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Senior Bowl Pre-Game (w/UPDATES)

Stephen Tsai writes that Colt Brennan was voted team captain by his South teammates.

Here's a Senior Bowl preview from Chris Steuber of Scout NFL Experts.
QB, Colt Brennan – Hawaii (South Team) – Brennan had to defend his 185-pound weigh-in at the beginning of the week to just about everyone. Even though many question his size, you can’t deny that Brennan is a talented QB. He will start the game for the South Team, and with a solid performance many of his critics will reverse their opinion.
A few ways to follow the game, from the Advertiser profile of Colt.
The game will be shown on the NFL Network, a cable channel not carried by Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Hawai'i. It can be seen on satellite systems. Establishments who have satellite — such as Eastside Grill and Red Lions on University — will telecast the game.
This MLive page will apparently be liveblogging the game. And not sure if they will, but NFL.com might have live stats.

UPDATE: Check out this Sportshawaii.com thread by fiveost8, who will try to give a play-by-play.

UPDATE 2: It's halftime and got a few other links. Some live stats from Sportsline.com, and streaming audio via WNSP.com. So far, Colt Brennan is 2 of 4 for 30 yards and 1 INT. He should be coming back in sometime in the 3rd quarter.

UPDATE 3: End of game. Colt ends up 2 for 6 for 30 yards. On to the pro day and combine.

CB Starts Today, Apparel

The Advertiser has an article from Arthur L. Mack about Colt Brennan's Senior Bowl week.
"Every day (during the practice sessions) I've gotten a little bit better than the day before," he said. "I feel that I'm starting to get a grasp of the offense and starting to understand things. If everything falls together, I hopefully will go out there and have a good day, do some good things and impress some scouts and coaches."
In yesterday's comments, "wallstkid" posted excerpts from a Q&A by Scott Wright of NFL Draft Countdown. Here's one:
Who is the most charismatic player at the Senior Bowl? Which guy do you see as leaders among the players?
-Matt from Chicago

Without question it's Colt Brennan. He is not only one of the most charismatic football players I have ever been around but maybe one of the most charismatic people period. He is extremely outgoing and people just seem to gravitate towards him.

- Scott Wright, NFL Draft Countdown
The game starts in a few hours. GOOOO COLT!

And finally, UH is looking for a new apparel contract for the football team.
With its Nike contract set to expire in May, UH is currently negotiating with what it terms, "several interested parties" on a new agreement that it hopes will reflect the status of a program that went 12-1 and made its first Bowl Championship appearance.

Speculation that a new, more lucrative deal is in the works has been circulating.
To date, UH's annual apparel contracts have been strictly agreements in which UH receives free or discounted merchandise.

Several top 20 teams have deals that also involve cash. But McNamara declined to say what terms UH is seeking.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Colt Starts Tomorrow

Just some notes from today's Senior Bowl practice, via NFL Draft Countdown.
• I talked to South coach Mike Nolan and he confirmed that Hawaii's Colt Brennan would be starting tomorrow night. It looked like Andre Woodson would be going second.

• The South started out by running through about a dozen plays. It was pretty fast-paced and Colt Brennan showed excellent command of the offense.
And from Pro Football Weekly:
Ran into Mike Nolan at the team hotel this afternoon, and he told me that Colt Brennan will start the game, likely followed by Eric Ainge, which means Andre Woodson would play third. Nolan said that they all would rotate in, but that they might change the order slightly.
Game is tomorrow. Hope he has a great game.

News clips of our new coaches

Rolo and Smith!

Welcome back to the Warrior Ohana!

Return of Smith, Colt News

Stephen Tsai writes about the Warriors new offensive line coach, Brian Smith.
Smith kept the playbooks from his five UH years. He added to it when he tried out with the Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers, when he was a UH graduate assistant (2003), and during coaching stops at Cal Lutheran, Oregon State and, last season, Portland State. He worked under Cavanaugh at OSU and under Mouse Davis, the inventor of the run-and-shoot offense, at Portland State.
"When you're a young coach, you have to be able to separate yourself from the players," he said. "You can't be their buddy. Some young coaches get into trouble because they think of themselves as still being players. I'm definitely not a player anymore."

Smtih said he will stress fundamentals and techniques. He wants his linemen to learn all facets of the offense.

"We want to have communication," Smith said. "If everyone's on the same page, there's understanding of the scheme ... and you have a better chance to succeed."
Jason Kaneshiro talks to Smith about coming back to UH.
"I'm a little more toned down from where Coach Cavanaugh was," Smith said. "I'm definitely a teacher, I have high expectations for my players and I am demanding. It's a little different personality, but I think I get good results from my players."
Here's what Greg McMackin has to say:
"He's just like Rolo, a leader," McMackin said. "I saw that in him in 1999. He's a student of the game and a scholar. In talking to Mouse and June and Dennis McKnight, they all said he knows as much about blocking schemes for the run-and-shoot as anyone. He played in it, and he learned all the finer points. ... He's a scholar of offensive line play."
Welcome back Brian Smith!


Colt Brennan talks to Matthew Barrows of the Sacramento Bee about being tutored by Mike Martz this week.
"He's got us up at 7:15 every morning. The North ain't doing that," said Brennan, the Hawaii quarterback, with a smile. "But like I said, this is a job interview. And I came here to try to get a job. And I'm all for it.

"He keeps saying, 'I'm going to push you guys harder to make you that much more prepared.' And I appreciate that."
Brennan admitted that the first two days of practice were rough and that Martz rarely was satisfied. By Wednesday and Thursday, the 49ers' new offensive coordinator had mellowed a bit but still was poring over every detail of his quarterbacks' delivery.
John Pruett of the Huntsville Times profiles Colt Brennan.
"This is a job interview for me down here this week,'' said Brennan, one of three quarterbacks on the South roster for Saturday afternoon's 59th annual Senior Bowl all-star football game.

"If I have a good year and follow it up by doing well in the (NFL) combine, I'll answer a lot of questions. I'll just go through the process and hope to impress people with my athletic ability and character.''
"He's a very intelligent and popular player, a very likable guy with a quick release and great accuracy,'' said one NFL official who did not wish to be identified. "His arm may not be strong as some of the others, but he has a lot of great intangibles."
And Alex Marvez of Fox Sports writes about Colt and the system label.
Brennan must now adjust to taking snaps from under center in an NFL-style offense and show sufficient muscle on deep throws.

NFLdraftscout.com analyst Rob Rang believes Brennan can do both, comparing his style of play to Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia.

"The question with Colt is the arm strength, but I think he has enough of it," Rang said. "Anything within 20 yards or so, he's OK. Once you get to 25 yards, that's where his ball starts to flutter. But the vast majority of NFL passes -- at least on a rope -- are within 20 yards.

"He's very intelligent and anticipates openings in the field. He's very accurate and has poise and touch. He makes different types of throws, not just dink-and-dunk types of passes."
And there are rumblings that Colt will be starting for the South tomorrow. So be sure to watch early, if you have NFL Network.

UPDATE: Here's an article on Colt's Senior Bowl week, from John Zenor of the AP.
The high-pressure circumstances would seem likely to make Brennan jittery. Instead, he was the guy often seen in the players' hotel, chatting on a cell phone or talking with reporters.

Typically with a smile on his face.

"This is a great experience for me, because I'm kind of the big question mark as far as the quarterbacks in the draft,'' Brennan said. "Everybody's kind of waiting to see, 'Is he a good kid? Is he a good football player?'''

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Return of Rolo, Recruits, Tickets, Senior Bowl Coverage

Dave Reardon writes that Nick Rolovich is officially the new UH quarterbacks coach.
Yesterday was his first day on the job. Rolovich met with his two veterans -- senior Tyler Graunke and junior Inoke Funaki. He already knew them from a student assistant stint at UH in 2004 and 2005 -- Tim Chang's last year and Brennan's first.
"I'm really excited that he's joining us. I've watched his career and have always been proud of him and knew that he had an inner strength and would be a great coach," McMackin said. "He's going to bring us a lot of power."
Stephen Tsai talks to Rolovich about his love for coaching.
"As much as I love throwing touchdowns," he said, "and as much as I enjoy getting hit and coming up with something clever to say to the guy who hit me, working with young players and seeing the light go on, that's a greater feeling of satisfaction."

The past two years, Rolovich moonlighted as the quarterback coach at City College of San Francisco, which won a 2007 national championship.

During one game, he was set to signal an audible.

"Something caught me," recalled Rolovich, who decided to allow the quarterback to make the call. "I thought, 'Let me see if you can do it now. This is your chance.' And he got it, and we scored a touchdown, and we went on to have a great year.

"It's a different satisfaction," Rolovich added. "You almost have 100 times the effect. Maybe what I teach them, they're going to teach to somebody some day. I like to call it 'good football morals.' Good football stuff is passed down. For one, it's the greatest game in the world. It should be played and taught with football morals. There's a right way to teach things, and a right way to approach players."
Great to have Rolo back!

Chawan_cut here. Gotta add in the Princess Leila's exclusive first interview with our new coach:

Advertiser's Princess Leila's Rolo interview

...also adding UH's official announcement of Rolo's hiring.

Stacy Kaneshiro writes about the local recruits visiting UH this weekend. They include Robert Siavii, Art Laurel, Cody Kamakana, Steven Donohue, Alema Tachibana, Kahai Choy, Terry Kamalamalama Jr. and Aaron Dudoit. There's also some news about the weekend after that:
Si'ilata and linebacker Paipai Falemalu are scheduled to visit Oregon State this weekend. Falemalu and defensive back Shiloah Te'o are scheduled to visit UH next weekend, Torres said.

Kamehameha offensive lineman Daniel Kaanana will visit UNLV this weekend and UH next weekend, coach David Stant said.
Ferd Lewis writes about UH's push to sell more season tickets this year.
Thankfully, unlike what has too often been the case in the past, UH isn't just sitting back and, in a posture that has smacked of arrogance, said, in essence, take it or leave it. No longer is it curiously trying to raise money by charging fewer people much higher prices.

This time UH is finally trying to win back fans and grab new ones, putting plenty into the push beyond the usual contest drawings, etc. Prices are frozen at 2007 levels and an additional eighth home game added. UH officials also are pledging to get season-ticket holders pay-per-view road games either free or at a significantly reduced price.
And below are some links for continuing Senior Bowl practice coverage:


NFL Draft Countdown's Senior Bowl HQ

Rivals.com Senior Bowl coverage

Sportshawaii.com Senior Bowl/Colt Brennan Thread

WSN's Senior Bowl Practice Reports Thread

ScoutNFLExperts.com Senior Bowl Tracker (subscription)

ESPN.com's College Football page

Please let me know if there any other pages I can add to this list.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday Videos: Senior Bowl, '07 Highlights, A New Beginning

KHON's John Veneri has a report about today's Senior Bowl practice. There's a couple clips of Mike Martz tutoring Colt Brennan.

NFL.com has a lot more footage of Martz tutoring Brennan, Andre Woodson and Eric Ainge.


Kapoleicoug has put together highlights of the 2007 UH football season. Great job once again.


And Irse has posted KGMB's Warrior Football: A New Beginning, a special hosted by Liz Chun which takes a look back at the tumultuous start of the new year, and a look ahead to the 2008 season.

End of an Era: Balloon Brigade

I know this is a football blog, but I had to post about this basketball subject, which has been a part of my UH fan-life for the past 12 years or so.

I didn't start the "balloon brigade" as Jim Leahey termed it, but I helped to keep it alive. Fellow UH bandmembers started it back in the early days of the SEA (Special Events Arena) before it was named the SSC (Stan Sheriff Center). Even KKEA's Kevin Hashiro tried to start something. After they graduated, I took on the task with the help of some friends.

It hit its peak during the AC Carter/Alika Smith Dynamic Duo days as shown above.

After I graduated, I wondered how I would continue to make the balloons for every game. Luckily that next season, the UH Basketball booster club came up to me and offered to help. It took off from there. By myself, I could only blow up 70-80 balloons. With their help (and their air compressor) we blew 6-700 a game.

Hawaii has never been a basketball state, except for the Fab 5 days, which I wasn't around for. The closest we got was with AC. The balloons helped the average sit-on-his-hands-fan to feel like he was a part of something bigger. That he/she mattered and could influence the game. It also distracted the kids so that parents could watch the games.

UNFORTUNATELY, this year, MIDSEASON, the WAC has deemed that the balloons are noisemakers (which is a NCAA violation). After all these years! They informed UH that if the balloons were used in this fashion, that refs would first issue a warning and then a technical foul against the fans. UH thought in the best interests of the team, that they would not risk losing points and possessions and not allow them to be used. I am partially to blame, as I used to squeak them myself. The WAC had no issue with them being waved only, but how do you control 6-700 fans, again, some being kids?

I already wrote to WAC Commissioner, Karl Benson, and he responded. He said that the conference is trying to enforce a sportsmanship policy this year. The WAC has issued warnings to other teams fans whose unruly behavior includes yelling vulgar sayings after opposing teams made free throws. One of those teams then made a complaint about our balloons for some reason and the WAC had to respond. And here we are now. If you were at the Fresno State game this past weekend, you could noticeably tell the difference. Jim and Artie made a comment about it during the tv telecast as well and didn't agree with the WAC.

Here's some other coverage by the media:

Stephen Tsai's blog

Jeff Portnoy's blog

What to do?

Ok, I'll step off my pedestal and let Tombo get back to football.

Recruiting, Stutzmann

Paul Honda writes about how recruiting has changed under coach Greg McMackin.
The rising tide of local recruits committing to the UH program -- almost a half-dozen on Sunday and Monday alone -- is no coincidence. The departure of June Jones from the Warriors program seems to have unleashed the coaching staff and more local recruits could be in Hawaii uniforms soon.
In fact, during the 2006-07 season, UH recruiters didn't visit, or perhaps were not permitted to visit, football powerhouse Kahuku. During that time, more than a dozen Division I recruiters visited the campus.

However, that changed in the past year, and as of this week, it appears the UH staff has more recruiting power under new head coach Greg McMackin.
Dave Reardon writes that McMackin and Ron Lee are in California on a recruiting trip.
Hawaiian Airlines has donated seats for UH coaches to recruit on the mainland.

The Warriors hope to find a quarterback to add to a class that is so far heavy on defensive backs and linemen.
Also from that article, Reardon writes about soon-to-be graduate assistant Craig Stutzmann:
"I always told people I'd rather coach in college than play in the pros," Stutzmann said. "The opportunity is awesome."
At UH, Stutzmann will likely work with the receivers along with Ron Lee.

Ron Lee (receivers), Cal Lee (linebackers), George Lumpkin (defensive ends) and Rich Miano (defensive backs) are expected to be retained on McMackin's staff. Ron Lee and Cal Lee are poised to become the offensive and defensive coordinators.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Colt Brennan: Day 2 of Senior Bowl Practices (w/UPDATES)

Lots of coverage of Colt Brennan today. Chawan Cut compiles tonight's news. First up is a report by KHON's Kanoa Leahey and KGMB's Brooks Baehr.

NFL.com has at least three videos from today's practice. Here's some practice highlights, an analysis of Colt's performance in practice, and a great interview with Colt in which he responds to some of the criticism.

Here's an article about the opportunity the Senior Bowl presents to Brennan from AtlantaFalcons.com. There's a couple of video interviews to the right of the article.

Some practice highlights from the first day from Rivals.com.

Here's some practice notes from DraftBoardInsider.com.

It's not up as of this typing, but Scott Wright's Draft Countdown Senior Bowl page should have a link of Tuesday's South practice report up soon.

UPDATE: Here it is, along with an excerpt:
To be honest nobody stood out, although if you put a gun to my head I'd say Hawaii's Colt Brennan looked the best, although just by the narrowest of margins. I actually found a spot on the sideline where the quarterbacks were throwing 20 yard outs right in my direction to try and gauge arm strengths and it was almost too close to call. Kentucky's Andre Woodson and Tennessee's Erik Ainge seemed to float their throws a bit whereas Brennan gets them there on a rope. Brennan also showed the ability to fit balls into a tight spot although he seemed a bit indecisive at times.
And while results on the field have been a little mixed, Colt's been killing in the press room. From 49ersFaithful.net:
Brennan and Johnson were the most entertaining. Here’s what they had to say when asked about their personalities as Brennan was clearly more energized during the press conference.

“Andre had a great run early in the year and he’s a projected first rounder and I’m luck to be here, so I’m just having fun, enjoying it and trying to impress as many people as I can,” said Brennan. “He’s still trying to keep that first rround draft status, so there’s probably a lot more pressure.”
And from Scott Wright:
It's pretty hard not to like Colt Brennan and he is one of the most charismatic and outgoing football players that I have ever been around. Whether or not that will help him achieve success at the next level remains to be seen but he definitely has the "It" factor and I have been very impressed with him off the field.
UPDATE: Here's a great profile of Colt Brennan by ESPN's Chris Low.
Brennan's not as concerned about his start to this week as he is about making sure he's peaking by the time Saturday's game arrives.

"Nobody thinks I can play from under center anyway," Brennan said. "So if I go out and have success next to these guys who've been playing in a traditional pro offense in college, it's going to say, 'This kid came out here in a week and got real good at it.'"

Craig Stutzmann: GA

Dave Reardon writes that former UH receiver Craig Stutzmann has joined the Warriors staff as a graduate assistant.
Stutzmann said he starts with UH this week, and that he accepted and offer from new head coach Greg McMackin to work with the UH receivers.

"The opportunity is awesome," Stutzmann said

Stutzmann is a teacher and football coach at Saint Louis School, his high school alma mater. He said he will be allowed to continue teaching at Saint Louis through the summer.

"They've been very supportive," he said.
Congratulations to Stutzmann!

And maybe he can coach the punters too:

UPDATE: More from UH Sports Extra:
“I’ll start this week,” Stutzmann said. “I’m working on signing up for classes, and I’m excited about spring ball. I won’t be able to recruit off the islands, but I can go with the coaches locally. I’m looking forward to learning a lot and making a contribution.”
Stephen Tsai has some news and notes from his post today. Some excerpts:
Defensive end John Fonoti has been placed on scholarship.
Defensive tackle Fale Laeli said he will undergo arthroscopic surgery to "clean up" his left knee. He is expected to be ready for spring practice.
Also, Greg McMackin leaves tonight on a recruiting mission to California. McMackin has promised to do as many home visits as possible.

Colt at the Senior Bowl, Miano, Tuiasosopo, Heun, Etc. (w/UPDATE)

The Advertiser has an article about Colt Brennan participating in the Senior Bowl. Dave Reardon writes that Saturday's game will be shown on the NFL Network, which many people don't have.

Colt Brennan took part in his first Senior Bowl practice yesterday. Here are some articles about that:

From Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News:
Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan surprised several NFL teams at the Monday morning weigh-in. Brennan weighed 186 pounds, down from his playing weight of 190 pounds. Brennan said he had a stomach virus last week.

"It was real disappointing for me," he said. "I got the stomach flu when I was in California, and I guess I thought I could get it all back."

Brennan has two more weigh-ins, at the National Scouting Combine and at Hawaii's Pro Day. Brennan said he would like to get between 205-210 pounds.
From NFL Draft Countdown:
Brennan did really gun the ball at times and showed nice touch on the very short stuff, but he really had to wind and step into medium and deep passes. He was also really leaning into many of his throws such that the release point appeared to be very low. As a result, many of Brennan’s throws were wild high or wide.
Here's an analysis from Steve Megargee of Rivals.com.
"I'm one of those quarterbacks that's a big question mark," Brennan acknowledged Monday after his South team completed its first practice. "I can be rising up the draft board or falling down depending on how I show up and execute."
That's why so many scouts will be watching Brennan this week to see how he adjusts now that he's lining up under center instead of working out of the shotgun on every snap.

"They want to see you take the ball under center, drop, set up, read the defense and make the play," said Frank Coyle of www.draftinsiders.com. "You don't have to do that when you sit in the 'gun.' "
There's a lot more from that article. Here's another Rivals.com article in which Brennan talks about June Jones' departure and the hiring of Greg McMackin.
Although Brennan criticized the way Hawaii allowed Jones to leave, he praised the school for selecting former defensive coordinator Greg McMackin as its new coach.

"He understands the program, understands the culture and people really well," Brennan said. "The players will react really well to him because he was probably the players' coach of all coaches."
UPDATE: Chawan Cut also uploaded an interview with Colt from a report by KFVE's Jason Tang:


Stephen Tsai writes about Rich Miano being in line to become associate head coach.
"I firmly believe in the University of Hawai'i," Miano said. "I'm an alumnus."

He said his background makes it easier to speak to UH prospects.

"When I talk to a recruit, he knows I'm not a hypocrite," Miano said. "I played for the school, and I'm proud of that. I've graduated from the school. I'm proud of that. I think the world of the state of Hawai'i. I have a hard time faking something. If I don't truly believe in it, I can't sell it. I believe in this, and it's easy to sell."

With the expected new title, Miano will retain his roles of coaching the defensive backs, coordinating the walk-on program, and serving as the pro-football liaison.
Also from that article, Tuiatua Tuiasosopo talks about becoming a Warrior:
"Coach Mack is a really good coach," he said. "I see UH keeping up its winning ways. I met all of the players. I asked them why they chose UH. They told me: 'When you play for UH, you play for the whole state. When you play for Oregon State, you're only playing for Corvallis. The whole state backs up UH. When we're up, they're up. When we're down, they support us.' "
Ron Wilmot of the Anchorage Daily News profiles UH recruit Jake Heun.
Heun also seriously considered Nebraska, among other schools, but the Cornhuskers wanted him only as a linebacker. Hawaii offered the prospect of playing running back. That, plus the thought of palm trees and beaches, led Heun to choose Hawaii.

"It doesn't get much better than living and playing in Hawaii," he said.
Heun also talks about vacationing in Hawaii during the holidays.
"It seemed like the whole island, the whole state, was into (the Warriors)," he said. "I've been in college towns, but I've never seen an entire state get into a team like that."
Ferd Lewis writes a trifecta of articles -- one about pay-per-view doing well this past year, another about how UH plans to hire a new athletic director in "four to six weeks", and finally a column about how that can't come soon enough.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Championship Weekend Coverage

Here's KHNL's coverage of the parade. Just got the UH portions, not the HS stuff. Sorry, this is a UH blog. Got some clips of the Rainbow Dancers for you guys. The team did an impromptu Ha'a on the streets of Waikiki. The guys and gals were soaking it all up.

And the last clip is of the trophy presentation at halftime at the UH vs Fresno State basketball game as well as short season highlight videos from K5.

Also here's some first hand footage by the Tiser's great Princess Leila. She got to ride on the trolley with the guys. watch as they take the fun to the fans on the street as well as Ha'a'ng on the street and floats.

Princess Leila video


Part 1: UH Band and Rainbow Dancers, Wahine Soccer and Vball

Part 2: UH Football Coaches and players

Part 3: UH players and the Ha'a

Part 4: Award Presentation & Video Highlights

Recruiting News, Parade, Colt's #1 Fan

Stephen Tsai writes about the recruits who committed to the Warriors this weekend. In addition to Geordon Hanohano and Haku Correa:
Lewis Walker, a cornerback from Judge Memorial High in Salt Lake City, also accepted a Warrior scholarship offer.

What's more, All-State offensive lineman Tui Tuiasosopo of Saint Louis reportedly has made a verbal commitment to UH.

And Damien safety Christian Vasconcellos reaffirmed his UH commitment.
Walker will help boost the defensive secondary that lost three starters.

"I'm a Warrior," said Walker, who is 5 feet 11 3/4 and 170 pounds.

He has been timed sprinting 40 yards in 4.49 seconds.

Walker attended the invitation-only Nike combine in Eugene, Ore., where he was named the most outstanding defensive back.
More details about Tuiasasopo, Vasconcellos and the others are in the article.

Dave Reardon Paul Honda covers this weekend's commits as well. Hanohano talks about Coach McMackin:
The Star-Bulletin All-State first-team selection gave Hawaii his word during a meeting with new head coach Greg McMackin.

"He's a really good person and he seems sincere with everything he said. He's not just talking to you like you're just another recruit. He means everything he says," Hanohano said.
And from Correa:
"I felt like the Hawaii coaches believe in me. I trust them and trust that they can take me to the next level," Haku Correa said.
UPDATE: Tui Tuiasosopo confirms his commitment.
Tuiatua Tuiasosopo, an All-State offensive guard from Saint Louis School, confirmed his verbal commitment to UH.
He received offers from Oregon State and Cal, but "after visiting UH, it made me want to stay home. It was a tough decision to commit, but it was the right decision."
And from PIAA:
Tui stated "I felt at home with Coach McMackin, he truly believes in my abilities as a player and even hinted that he could help me and UH could help me go onto the next level which was the NFL. I know at UH Coach McMackin, Coach Cal Lee, Coach Lumpkin and the entire UH Coaching Staff will take good care of me. Coach Cal Lee was the one recruiting me heavily along w/Coach Lumpkin. I was told that I have the highest GPA amongst all of the UH recruits with a 4.2 GPA. My parents are proud. I had a great time on my recruiting trip."

Suzanne Roig writes about yesterday's "Parade of Champions" in Waikiki.
Elishia Chun, a 13-year-old Kaimuki Middle School student, dragged her uncle to the parade yesterday so that she could see her favorite player, Jacob Patek, No. 31, a Warrior defensive player. Chun and her uncle arrived at Fort DeRussy early so they could get a good viewing spot. They planned to attend all the events of the Parade of Champions, which included entertainment and a movie at Sunset on the Beach outlining the 2007 UH football season.

"I had to beg my uncle to bring me," Chun said. "No one wanted to come to Waikiki. They figured it was too crowded."

Nearby was Mililani resident Tess Calma and her family. They brought homemade signs supporting new UH football coach Greg McMackin.

"We just can't get enough of them," Calma said.
The article also has links to video and photographs from the parade.

Here's a news segment about the parade from KGMB's Lisa Kubota.

And the Star-Bulletin has a follow-up to the story of Ernest A'ana.
A'ana, 70, who had liver cancer and a stomach aneurysm, insisted on traveling to Louisiana to watch the UH Warriors play and to visit a daughter in Florida.

He attended the game but was taken off a return flight for medical reasons and died Jan. 5 in Atlanta from complications to his aneurysm.

Brennan heard about A'ana's story and sent his family a package that contained two souvenir photos signed and inscribed to "my number one fan."

"It was wonderful," said A'ana's daughter Shanita Akana of Ewa Beach. "We were really appreciative."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Haku Correa Commits

More great news for UH, via PIAA:
Haku Correa, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle from Damien Memorial High School has committed to play for the University of Hawaii. At 6'1, 240, Haku becomes the second Damien Monarch to commit to UH from the class of 2008.

Haku was named 1st Team Division II All-State in the Honolulu Advertiser and 3rd Team All-State in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. He is the son of Lani Correa of Honolulu and brother of former UH Warrior La'anui Correa. Haku says "I felt like the Hawaii coaches believe in me, I trust them and trust that they can take me to the next level". His mother said "he made a great decision. The Coach McMackin and Coach Cal showed today how much they really wanted him. UH is family. I'm very proud of Haku's decision".
Congratulations to Haku.

Bo Goes, Geordon Hanohano Stays

While it appears Bo Levi Mitchell has decommitted from UH to join June Jones at SMU, there is some good recruiting news this weekend as St. Louis defensive lineman Geordon Hanohano has committed to the Warriors.
Hanohano a Warrior! Geordon Hanohano, 6'2, 280lb Defensive Lineman from Saint Louis has committed to play for the home team, the University of Hawaii.

Geordon, son of George and Rhonda-Lei of Waianae said "“I wanted to represent Hawaii well and there is no better way to do it than playing for UH. I'm happy to be going to UH and to be a Warrior”. Geordon gave his committment to Coach McMackin at the end of his official visit to the UH campus today.
From the Star-Bulletin:
Saint Louis School defensive lineman Geordon Hanohano committed to accept a football scholarship from Hawaii today. Hanohano also received offers from Arizona, San Diego State and UNLV.
Congratulations to Geordon and UH.

UPDATE: From Stephen Tsai:
"There were a lot of reasons,"Hanohano said. "I felt it would be best if I stayed home. It seemed like (the coaches) really wanted me to come to UH."
He said he considered Arizona and UNLV, but "I always had UH on the top of my list."

Jake Heun, Jason Rivers, Next AD

Note: I posted links to yesterday's news in the previous post.

Stephen Tsai writes that running back Jake Heun will become a Warrior.
The Hawai'i football team broke ground on a new era, receiving a commitment from a gritty junior-college running back.

"I'm a Warrior," said Jake Heun, who was raised in Alaska and attended City College of San Francisco the past two seasons.
Heun is 6 feet 2, and weighs between 245 and 250 pounds.
Heun has bench pressed a maximum 435 pounds. He also has benched 225 pounds 26 times. In a test measured by laser, he ran 40 yards in 4.56 seconds.

"Right now, I'm in decent shape, so I think I'm in the 4.6 range," he said.

Most important, Heun brings a linebacker's attitude to running back.

"I love blocking," he said. "I love knocking people around on that side. I think you can lay more of a hurt on somebody from the offensive side than on defense."
Tsai also writes about Jason Rivers' performance in yesterday's East-West Shrine Game:
Former UH wideout Jason Rivers said it was a "good experience" to play in yesterday's East West Shrine Game in Houston.

Rivers started, and caught a pass on the game's first play from scrimmage. He finished with three catches for 16 yards in the West's 31-13 victory.
Here a couple reviews from the game and earlier Shrine practices. From the Chicago Tribune:
Another player trying to show he could make the transition to a conventional offense was Hawaii wide receiver Jason Rivers. He impressed potential employers with his ability to run all the routes. Rivers' toughness and competitiveness also stood out.
From Niner Insider:
His main target was Hawaii receiver Jason Rivers, who's trying to prove he's more than a run-and-shoot receiver. He got open on the drive, made one catch over his head, but dropped another in the middle of the field that would have been a first down. Rivers is a projected sixth-rounder. At 6-1, 186 with 4.5 speed, he can work the middle zones.
The Star-Bulletin has some info on today's Parade of Champions.
The event will honor the UH football, women's soccer and women's volleyball teams, all of them 2007 champions in the Western Athletic Conference, along with intermediate and high school football champions.

Marching bands will accompany them.

New UH football head coach Greg McMackin will be grand marshal.

The parade begins at Fort DeRussy at 4 p.m. and will head down Kalakaua Avenue to the "Sunset on the Beach" stage, with entertainment by Imua starting at 5:30 p.m. and a program at 6 p.m. Performances by Na Leo and Willie K. will start at 6:30 p.m. with highlights of the 2007 season projected on the 30-foot "Sunset on the Beach" movie screen.
And Ferd Lewis writes that the next UH athletic director needs to be more involved in the business community.
Now, as UH prepares to start the search for a new athletic director, the school needs to seek out someone who both understands and can sell that vision. What it requires in Herman Frazier's successor is someone who can wade into the business community and, using 2007 an example, build a financial partnership to grow the entire athletic program.

That's something the former AD was either unwilling or unable to do. How lacking it became was underlined when a frustrated group of local businessmen, pledging $1,000 each on their own, raised more than $100,000 in a little more than a day last month to donate to the football program.
P.S. It was announced at last night's basketball game that Hawaiian Airlines will give Coach Greg McMackin and his staff free round-trip flights to recruiting destinations. That's cool.

Saturday News

Michael Tsai wrote about the UH Board of Regents approving the buyout of Herman Frazier's contract and the appointment of Carl Clapp as interim AD.
"I still need to work with (McMackin) as he puts together his staff, gets on the recruiting trail and transitions the program," Clapp said.

Clapp said he will put "as much energy as I can" into addressing long-delayed improvements to Cook Field and other facilities, as well as the completion of the department's third-floor office space.

Clapp will also work with administrators to put together a five- to eight-year master plan to guide the department.
Dave Reardon spoke to Clapp about the items on his agenda.
One of the biggest criticisms of Frazier, who was fired last week, was the 2007 football schedule that was short a game and included two meetings with Division I-AA teams.

The 2008 schedule is set, and Frazier was nearly done with 2009.

"We will pick up on work in progress," said Clapp, a few minutes after being approved by the Board of Regents yesterday. "It's probably something I delve into this weekend, get myself a little more up to date. I think we are in pretty good shape, but we have to remain vigilant to stay there and continue to work on it and see what opportunities there are."
"I'm anticipating that I will be spending time with the legislature, and will do everything we can to make sure they're informed as they can be," Clapp said. "I also respect that they have a lot of priorities and some really key decisions to make as well. Anything I can do to get them information and assist and facilitate, we'll definitely be doing.
That article also contained news and notes about Kealoha Pilares and Daniel Libre possibly moving to slot, McMackin continuing morning practices, new season tickets sales, McMackin meeting recruits, and:
An ESPN crew, including reporter Shelley Smith, is here filming a segment on UH football for "Outside the Lines."
Reardon also wrote about Colt Brennan signing with an agent.
Former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan has signed with the Rep 1 Sports Group agency based in his hometown of Irvine, Calif.

Cousins Bruce and Ryan Tollner are the agency's owning partners.

"I've signed the papers with the Tollner group," Brennan told the Star-Bulletin in a phone interview. "I'm comfortable with them and they have some good quarterbacks."
Stacy Kaneshiro wrote about UH inviting Kama Bailey to walk on.
While it seems surprising that UH has not offered a scholarship, it might be because of the Warriors' intent on recruiting a bruising fullback for the run-and-shoot offense with new offensive coordinator Ron Lee at the helm. At 5-feet-8 and 175 pounds, Bailey might be projected as a slotback. Bailey had six receptions for 94 yards this past season.

NCAA rules prohibit UH from commenting on prospective recruits.

Meanwhile, Leilehua all-state linebacker Art Laurel (6-1, 210) will visit UH next weekend, Mules coach Nolan Tokuda said.
From the blogs, Stephen Tsai wrote about cornerback Steve Stepter.
The offseason conditioning program started a few days ago, and Steve Stepter already has impressed teammates with his quickness and work ethic.
Stepter, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback, is a 2007 graduate of Crenshaw High in Los Angeles. He trained in Los Angeles during the fall semester, and began attending classes at UH last Monday. He is on football scholarship.
Stepter is learning the defense by watching videos and hanging out with linebacker Solomon, another Crenshaw alumnus.
And Dave Reardon caught up with Josh Leonard.
Also, I ran into Josh Leonard today. He is up to 296 and is excited about playing tackle again. He said he wants to get up to around 310 pounds, and then sculpt it back to around 300 as playing weight. Sounds like a man with a plan. Losing Mike Lafaele is big, but Leonard, Fale Laeli, Keala Watson and Rocky Savaiigaea is a solid two deep.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Weekend Events

Jason Rivers plays in the East-West Shrine Game, which will be broadcast on ESPN2 tomorrow.

Members of the football, women's volleyball and women's soccer teams will be presented their conference championship trophies during halftime of tomorrow's UH-Fresno basketball game.

Members of those teams will take part in the Parade of Champions on Sunday.

As mentioned in the previous post, some UH football recruits will be visiting UH this weekend. Damien's Kama Bailey has been invited to walk on. And Leila Wai has a video covering walk-on tryouts held by coach Rich Miano and the UH football team on Wednesday.

Graunke, Cal Lee, Recruiting, Colt, Etc.

Stephen Tsai talks to Tyler Graunke, who is confident and ready to earn the starting job heading towards the 2008 season.
"I don't want it handed to me," said Graunke, who served as the primary backup to Heisman finalist Colt Brennan the past three seasons. "I'm going to show the new guys — the guys who don't know me as well as other guys — I'm going to earn it. I want it more than anything in my life. I've been waiting for this for a long time. I'm not going to shy away from any experience."
McMackin wiped clean the depth chart, insisting that each player has an equal chance to win a starting job.

"It's going to be a true test of heart," Graunke said. "Who works the hardest is going to be on the field, and who practices the best, and who's the most consistent. It's going to make us better. I know we're going to be going to Florida with a confident group of guys. We have to make sure it's the right group of guys."
Tsai talks to Cal Lee about his expanded coaching and recruiting roles.
Lee, like McMackin, has pared football strategy to the basics.

"It's assignment and alignment," Lee said. "If anything comes your way, you have to be able to make a play."

Last season, the Warriors improved in nearly every meaningful defensive category — yards per rush, third-down efficiency, turnovers, points scored by the defense.

"The challenge is for us to get better," Lee said. "There's always room for improvement. We're never going to be satisfied."
Stacy Kaneshiro writes about some recruiting visits taking place this weekend.
Saint Louis defensive tackle Geordon Hanohano and offensive lineman Tui Tuiasosopo, both Advertiser All-State first-team selections, will visit the Manoa campus, Crusaders coach Delbert Tengan said.

Joining them will be Damien defensive back Christian Vasconcellos, who verbally committed to UH last summer. Monarchs teammate Haku Correa, a defensive lineman, also will make the 48-hour visit, Vasconcellos said. Both are Advertiser All-Division II All-State selections.

Kaiser wide receiver Kalua Noa also will be visiting UH, Cougars coach Patrick Samsonas said. Noa was the O'ahu Interscholastic Association White Offensive Player of the Year.
Dave Reardon talks to Colt Brennan, who is training in California for the upcoming Senior Bowl.
The Heisman finalist is working out at Orange Coast College near his Irvine, Calif., home in preparation for the Senior Bowl a week from tomorrow in Mobile, Ala.

"It's a brand-new facility and it's got everything I need," Brennan said during a phone call yesterday.

Brennan also said he has been invited to participate in a Quarterback Challenge event that will be held in conjunction with the Super Bowl later this month in Phoenix
Reardon has more in his Sports Notebook.
Brennan, who said he just got over a nasty flu that caused him to lose weight, has been working with trainer Doug Hix to gain strength and bulk.

"I'm trying to get my size back, I don't even want to say what my weight is now," said Brennan. "Dude, three meals a day and three snacks. Food constantly."
He said he's glad former defensive coordinator Greg McMackin was chosen to replace June Jones, who left as Warriors head coach for SMU last week.

"I'm extremely excited about him. The program has been left in good hands," Brennan said. "The more I think about it, our defense will be awesome, and the guys in that offense will continue to progress. It's Tyler's (quarterback Graunke) time to shine."
Also from the Notebook, news about recruiting, possible reinstatements of Mario Cox and B.J. Fruean, etc.

Herman Frazier is interviewing for the AD position at the University of Miami.

Also, from last night, KHNL has a story about McMackin addressing his team at the top of their sports page (sorry, no permalink). It's titled "New U.H. Warrior Coach Speaks to Players for the First Time" and it includes interviews with Leon Wright-Jackson and Le'Marcus Gibson.

UPDATE: Stephen Tsai's blog has info on a free autograph session this weekend, and some quotes from Blaze Soares. Here's one:
"The picture is starting to become more clear. It was a little bit dusty at first. Now we know who's our OC and our DC. We have to get the recruits in, and the rest of the coaching staff, and let's get it on."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

McMackin, Recruiting, Ron Lee

In an article by Jason Kaneshiro, Adam Leonard and Desmond Thomas talk about the hiring of Greg McMackin.
"To lose Coach Jones, he's one of a kind. But to know we secured our future with coach McMackin, it means a lot," said senior linebacker Adam Leonard, who served on the nine-person selection committee.

"He's not Coach Jones; he's Greg McMackin. I think he's going to blaze his own trail, and we're going to see a lot of success. ... He's bringing his whole family out here, he's totally committed and that's what we need right now."
"He's a people person, and he takes his time to get to know you," Thomas said. "He'll take the time to get to know Colt Brennan, and he'll take the time to know somebody that's on the third-string scout team. ... Players respond to him well."
There's also quotes from Linda Lingle and Bob Nash.

Dave Reardon profiles McMackin, who talks a little about his coaching style.
McMackin considers himself a teacher above all else. And he has different methods for different situations.

"I've been around all kinds of coaches, and my style is that I want to teach kids. If they're not doing what I tell them to do, I get a little stronger with them. If they're not listening, then I go to the next guy," he said. "I try to treat them professionally, like men. I don't have a lot of rules. But No. 1 is don't embarrass the program. That pretty much covers everything. I treat them as individuals and try to keep great communication. That's important to me."
Stephen Tsai profiles and interviews McMackin. Here are some excerpts:
On the top recruiting needs:

"We need immediate help at receiver. We need another running back who's bigger, more physical, faster. We need another corner. We'd be smart if we ran into a couple of good offensive linemen. Oh, and we need a JC quarterback to come in and compete and go for it."
On the offense:

"We're going to run the run-and-shoot. I've run the run-and-shoot before. June's a master of the run-and-shoot. We're going to be a little more fundamental. Maybe not as much as Mouse (Davis, the scheme's architect), but sort of in-between. I'll let Ron (Lee, the offensive coordinator) call the plays. Every once in a while, I'll call a couple."
On the uniforms:

"I like our (black) home uniforms. I don't like (the) all white (road uniforms). I like our (dark) helmets."
The article also has some selected quotes from the press conference.

Ferd Lewis writes about how Greg McMackin is a great fit for UH.
The new head of the Warrior family is distinguished, mellow, seasoned, genuine and understated, which is a lot of what makes him such a good fit for UH at this time and place.

What the Warriors didn't need in their new head coach was a hard-charging maverick who wanted to reshape every corner of the UH athletic program in his image. Nor did they have the necessity of someone who has to be front and center every time a camera shows up or hailed as a genius. Characteristics not all his predecessors as head coaches or defensive coordinators were bereft of.

What they do require is someone who recognizes, "what I can be is the glue to hold things together," and has the good sense and humility to pull it off.
McMackin and Rich Miano talk to Jason Kaneshiro about recruiting.
"It's been tough the last week or two saying, 'We think this guy's going to be the head coach,' or 'We think we're going to be here,' " the nine-year UH assistant said. "There's some uncertainty out there and that's being used against us."

After yesterday's announcement of Greg McMackin's hiring as head coach, Miano and the rest of the staff can approach those prospects with greater conviction.

"Now is the time to really get out there and say, 'Hey we have a head coach, here's the direction we're going in,' " Miano said.

"We can turn that around and we need to start getting on the phones ASAP."
McMackin said he's targeted running back, receiver and cornerback as areas to address immediately while also looking at the program's needs beyond the upcoming season.

"Our younger classes, our freshman and sophomore classes, are really light, so we really have to get on recruiting for the future," McMackin said.
Stephen Tsai profiles soon-to-be new offensive coordinator Ron Lee.
Lee's offense will differ slightly from the scheme Jones ran successfully at UH. Jones is so brilliant he can correctly call set routes. For instance, Jones might call "H-corner," in which the slotback will run a route to the corner. Lee, on the other hand, prefers "H-option," in which the slotback, depending on the coverage, has the option of running a corner or post route. Lee's offense will be simpler, but have more plays. Lee said his schemes are based on plays Jones introduced in recent years.

In Jones' offense, the running back is used mostly as a backfield blocker, making up for the absence of a tight end. Lee prefers to employ a bruising fullback.

"I like to have a back who might not be as fast as in the past, but can pound it inside," Lee said.
And finally, Robert Shikina has the story of Ernest Dung A'ana, who made one last trip to watch Colt Brennan and the Warriors in New Orleans.
Two weeks before the biggest game ever for the University of Hawaii football team, Ernest Dung A'ana learned from doctors that he had terminal liver cancer.

He also had an aneurysm three times larger than normal, posing a danger on airline flights.

But that did not keep him from traveling to New Orleans to watch former UH quarterback Colt Brennan play in the Sugar Bowl.

The Hanapepe, Kauai, resident never returned from the trip. He died in Atlanta from complications from his aneurysm that started on a flight home.

"He was a big Colt fan," said his son Enoch A'ana, of Kailua-Kona.

When Brennan heard the story, he sent the family a package of football memorabilia.

"That was really precious to us that he did send something," A'ana said.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tonight's Videos: McMackin

Jason Tang and Howard Dashefsky have a report on Greg McMackin's hiring for KHNL.

Mike Cherry reports for KGMB.

Jai Cunningham reports for KHON, while Tannya Joaquin reports on Greg McMackin's salary.

Chawan Cut actually made compilations of tonight's news coverage, but Youtube is/was having some maintenance issues. Once it's back up and the videos are uploaded, he may add them to this post, or make a new one.

Ok, chawan cut here. Sorry, youtube screwed us last night by being down the whole time for maintenance.

Here's last night's news:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Post-Presser Coverage, Reinebold Leaving (w/UPDATES)

Here's an article about Greg McMackin's hiring, from Dave Reardon. Some quotes from Artie Wilson:
“I just called him and asked if he would consider being the guy, if there was any chance he would consider that,” said Wilson, who was on the selection committee that chose McMackin.

After gauging his interest, Wilson then made the more difficult call, the one to Jones.

“I had concerns about it,” Wilson said. “I know June’s appreciation and love for what Mack does. In his mind, part of going to SMU was he already knew he had his defense taken care of because he had Mack. That left him with a void, but June’s resilient. He took it well. (Jones said) If they take care of Mack and do the things they need to do, he’s the perfect guy.”
From the Advertiser:
"We have something special going on," McMackin said. "We have leadership. Every team has a different personality. Honestly, I think defensively we can be better than we were last year. Obviously we lost some good offensive players. The coaches and players are going to have to do a great job of recruiting and get some guys in here, which we are prepared to do."

McMackin said UH will continue to use the run-and-shoot offense. "No need to fix something that isn't broken," he said.
Here's articles from the AP and the Sports Network.

Here's video coverage from KGMB (what Chawan uploaded) and KITV.

And in all the great news today, there may be some bad news. According to Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News, Jeff Reinebold is expected to join SMU this weekend. We'll hopefully get more news about that later on.

UPDATE: Stephen Tsai confirms that Reinebold is leaving.
Jeff Reinebold said he is joining June Jones' staff at SMU as an assistant coach. He said he will leave Hawaii tomorrow morning, but will keep his rental in Waimanalo.
The rest of the post has notes on the new staff and some of the people in the athletic department. Farewell Sun God! Sorry to see him go.

UPDATE 2: Dave Reardon has a few words from Jeff Reinebold as he prepares to leave tomorrow.
“I made a decision this morning and didn’t want to talk to anyone about it until the players knew. It comes down to you have to take care of your family. I know for three years I lived my dream. How many people get to say that?”

“Sometimes you have to go away to come back. I love these people. I told the players that I’m lucky I have a soft place to land. It doesn’t work that way usually in this business. I will miss them every day. I truly believe the front seven will be the best in the WAC and Hawaii will win the Western Athletic Conference championship again.”
He'll definitely be missed.

Press Conference Video

Thanks KGMB and Liz Chun and Steve Uyehara. Sorry, had to break it up into 4 parts.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Greg McMackin Accepts

UPDATE: Here's the official news release from the UH Athletics Department. Some excerpts:
"I am honored and very humbled to accept the head coaching position at the University of Hawai'i," McMackin said. "June Jones can never be replaced. He has done so many great things for the program, the university and the state of Hawai'i and his legacy will never be forgotten. My destiny is to keep the program headed in that same direction and to maintain the continuity with our current players and recruiting base."
"I have so many people to thank including President (David) McClain, Chancellor Hinshaw, Na Koa and all the people who supported me, from the fans to the boosters," McMackin said. "But the main people I'd like to thank are the players, who this program is all about. They're the ones who went 12-0 and got us to the Sugar Bowl."
The release also has words of praise from June Jones, Dennis Erickson, Mike Leach, Mouse Davis and Gerald Myers. Some excerpts from that:
"He's one of my closest friends and he worked for me at a number of different places (San Francisco, Seattle, and Miami). The University of Hawai`i is very fortunate to have him. I'm excited because he really deserves this opportunity. He served as my defensive coordinator at Seattle and Miami. We always had one of the top defenses at Miami and had a great defense with the Seahawks as well. Not only is he a great defensive coach, he's an outstanding football coach. He has great knowledge of the game and will be a great leader."
Dennis Erickson
Arizona State University, Head Coach

"Greg's a great coach and will do a tremendous job with the program. I know he has strong feelings with the state of Hawai`i and the university. He's a great candidate and I'm sure the people there will be very happy. Greg has a great mind for defense which is very critical. But the best thing he does is the way he handles his players."
Mike Leach
Texas Tech University, Head Coach
And that's not all, the UH Athletics website front page has a "Back Coach Mack" link where you can place a deposit for 2008 season tickets!
Season ticket prices and premium seat contributions will remain the same as last year and the department has set a goal of selling 30,000 season tickets for the 2008 season.

The $50 deposit (per order, not per ticket) will be applied to fans’ new season-ticket purchases. Deposits can be paid online or at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office.

Current season-ticket holders will be mailed renewal information in February and they will not need to place a deposit for additional seat requests.

Following the renewal period, fans that place a deposit for new season tickets will be called back in the order in which their deposit was received to select their seats and finalize payment. Call backs will begin in May.

Fans placing a deposit for new season tickets by Friday, February 29, will receive a certificate redeemable for four (4) free tickets to a 2008 UH baseball game or men’s volleyball match (based on availability). They will also qualify for the chance to win a Trip for Two to Las Vegas, compliments of Vacations Hawaii.
Be there!


Stephen Tsai writes that Greg McMackin accepted UH's offer to become the Warriors' new head coach.
Greg McMackin last night accepted an offer to become the University of Hawai'i head football coach, The Advertiser learned.

McMackin will be introduced as June Jones' successor during a news conference at 8 this morning in the Ed Wong Hospitality Room in the Stan Sheriff Center.
Tsai writes that according to sources, Ron Lee will be offensive coordinator, Cal Lee will be defensive coordinator, Rich Miano will receive an "expanded role" and George Lumpkin will remain on staff. There's no mention of Jeff Reinebold. The article continues:
Former Warriors Nick Rolovich and Brian Smith are expected to be invited to join the staff as assistant coaches.
The Advertiser also has a "breaking news" article with more details about the staff. This article will probably be updated throughout the day.

Dave Reardon has quotes from McMackin and George Lumpkin about being interviewed by the committee last night.
Lumpkin said his interview went for more than an hour.

"It's a good committee, they asked good questions and I answered them the best I could," Lumpkin, also 58, said. "I appreciated the opportunity to interview and bring forth some of my concerns."
And Ferd Lewis writes about the significance of Greg McMackin staying with UH.
For all the "Believe!" signs of the season just past, here's a living, breathing one for the present — and future.

Had McMackin high-tailed it to Dallas along with Jones and some of the others, it would have been a particularly damning loss. Not just of a coach, but of a face for the program at a time when appearances are everything.

If the top assistant —which is what McMackin was in 2007 — split under such circumstances, the handwriting would have been plainly visible. Neon script that would have said: Disaster area, beware.

If the leading assistant didn't stick around to contend for the top job, then why should a prospective recruit commit?

McMackin's U-turn after first contemplating following Jones to SMU suggested that not only did someone who has spent the last 17 years as an assistant want a head coaching job, but that he valued the equity in this program enough to stay and compete for this one.
Congratulations to Greg McMackin. Can't wait to see what he and his assistants will do for the program.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

From the Blogs: New Coach Updates

No big news yet, but the big blogs have updates. From Stephen Tsai:
The nine-member search committee — co-chairs Virginia Hinshaw and acting AD Carl Clapp count as participants — are meeting with the finalists at an off-campus location.
Unless there's an unexpected turn of events — and there doesn't appear to be any looming — Greg McMackin will be introduced as the head coach tomorrow morning.
And Dave Reardon's teasing us:
At least two, and perhaps three, former UH players are poised to join the Warriors offensive coaching staff if Greg McMackin is named head coach.

This is exciting, because these guys have coached and played here and on the mainland. They combine youthful energy with plenty of experience for their age. And they are intimately familiar with UH’s offensive schemes. They are the right age to relate to the players without being too close to them.
Guess we find out who they are tomorrow, but sounds exciting.

And speaking of blogs, Sportshawaii.com has turned their front page into a blog. Looking good!

McMackin and Lumpkin Interview / Budget

In what's looking more and more like mere formalities, Greg McMackin and George Lumpkin will be interviewed for the head coaching position today, writes Stephen Tsai:
Greg McMackin could be chosen as the University of Hawai'i's next head football coach as early as tonight, according to people familiar with the situation.

McMackin, the Warriors' defensive coordinator in 1999 and 2007, and associate head coach George Lumpkin are the only confirmed candidates who will meet with the selection committee this afternoon.
And this is awesome:
Even Lumpkin said he supports McMackin's candidacy.

"Mac and I are really close," Lumpkin said. "He's a really good friend. He knows I think he's a great coach."
Lumpkin, meanwhile, said he applied as a way to "make sure that one of us is there to keep the staff together."
Adds Dave Reardon:
Lumpkin is a guy who has done whatever is needed for the program the past 35-plus years. Today it’s being a candidate for head coach although the entire world knows Greg McMackin is nearly a lock for the job.

Lumpkin will be retained on the new staff. That wasn’t the case when Fred von Appen took over in 1996.

Jeff Reinebold talks to Michael Tsai about recruiting during this waiting period and the work that lies ahead once a head coach is hired.
Reinebold said he and other assistants have maintained weekly telephone contact with recruits, as allowed by NCAA regulations, during the upheaval following June Jones' departure for Southern Methodist University and the firing of Frazier.

"We've been trying, in our own individual ways, to contact players and encourage them not to sign (with another school) yet," Reinebold said. "There is no need for them to hurry, just let the dealer deal all the cards."

Reinebold said it will be important to determine how many of the program's "gray shirts" — players who are sitting out a semester to preserve their maximum five years of NCAA eligibility — will honor their commitment to the team.

That count will affect the total number of scholarships the team is able to offer.

NCAA Division I programs can offer a maximum of 25 scholarships per class, and carry a maximum of 85 scholarship athletes overall.

Because of the late start, Reinebold said it is likely this year's Warriors class will number about 20.

"That's why it's so important that we have a quality class," he said. "I'm sure we'll have a great class."
Just hope Reinebold will be a part of the new UH football staff.


Some encouraging words for UH in a couple articles about budget requests. From B.J. Reyes of the Star-Bulletin.
The departure of University of Hawaii football coach June Jones, and the highly publicized reasons behind it, were helpful in one sense to Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.

"It has, to me, emphasized the need for change," Hinshaw told lawmakers yesterday.

Stressing the need to develop public-private partnerships and find new streams of revenue, university officials formally briefed lawmakers on their budget requests for the next fiscal year.
University President David McClain said it was imperative that the system seek out and develop more public-private partnerships, such as the one developed through a $25 million donation by real estate investor and UH alumnus Jay Shidler to what is now called the Shidler College of Business.
From Loren Moreno of the Advertiser:
The success of the UH football team last year will likely lead to more private money coming into the program.

"I've ... had a number of private sector people turn to me and say, 'We now understand something we didn't get before: We understand the transformational power of Warrior football in this state,' " McClain told legislators.
The university is requesting some $100 million in its capital improvement budget, which includes money to renovate athletic offices, locker rooms and other athletic facilities.

State Rep. K. Mark Takai, D-34th (Newtown, Waiau, Pearl City), said he will ask lawmakers to support about $25 million in line-item construction money for UH athletic facilities.
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