Archive for August, 2012

AD search advisory committee selected

August 24th, 2012

Three people I think would make pretty good athletic directors at the University of Hawaii probably aren’t going to assume the job … because they’re on the selection advisory committee.

That would be Keith Amemiya, Norm Chow and Dave Shoji. Of course, Chow and Shoji might be too busy, since they probably want to continue as football and volleyball coach.

Look for Amemiya to take this post at some point in the future. After a couple of conversations Thursday night, I think acting athletic director Rockne Freitas will end up with the job for a couple of years; the only thing is that Freitas has repeatedly publicly said he prefers his UH vice president job.

The committee won’t meet until after UH football’s season opener at USC on Sept. 1.

Here are the other members of the committee chancellor Tom Apple pulled together.

Howard Karr, chair emeritus of the UH Board of Regents, will chair the committee. Chow will serve as committee vice chair.

Other committee members are:

Laura Beeman, Head Coach, Women’s Basketball, UH Mānoa

Bob Harrison, CEO and President, First Hawaiian Bank

Peter Ho, Chairman, President and CEO, Bank of Hawai‘i

Bonnyjean Manini, Chair, UH Mānoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee

Mike McCartney, President and CEO, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

Diane Nakashima, APT representative, UH Mānoa

Peter Nicholson, Faculty Athletics Representative, UH Mānoa

Mark Polivka, Chairman, ‘Ahahui Koa Ānuenue

Teena Rasmussen, Regent Emeritus, UH Board of Regents

Vili “The Warrior” and UH part ways

August 19th, 2012

“Vili The Warrior” Fehoko, the unofficial mascot of University of Hawaii football told me this afternoon he will no longer be on the UH sideline at games after 12 years. My Monday column is about Vili.

Fehoko and his wife, Linda, said it is time for him to spend more time with their four sons and he looks forward to watching his youngest boys, VJ and Braden, play football.

Vili was a “player’s mascot,” often chest-bumping fully uniformed players as they ran onto the field and firing them up in various ways.

“In a sport that involves a lot passion and energy he was always there to help us with that,” former running back and receiver Nate Ilaoa said.

But sources at UH say the school wants to “move in a different direction” and did not invite the sometimes controversial Fehoko to return this year.

Regardless of what you thought of him and how he left, “Vili The Warrior” was never boring.

Athletic Director Wanted

August 13th, 2012

Today’s column is about the University of Hawaii’s crazy way of doing things, including its habit of rewarding employees it is dissatisfied with by giving them lots of money. There’s a twist this time, as Jim Donovan is “cleared of wrongdoing” but moved from athletic director to another job that will pay close to the same six-figure annual salary.

Now that it’s official that Donovan will no longer be the athletic director it’s time to find a new leader for the state’s largest intercollegiate sports program.

When Donovan got the job in 2008, he was chosen over other interviewees including Carl, Clapp, Rockne Freitas, Marilyn Moniz-Kahoohanohano and Bob Wagner.

Who should be considered this time around?

Olympic match was learning experience for Chuukese wrestler from Hawaii

August 6th, 2012

Keitani Graham lasted just one match in the Greco-Roman wrestling competition at the Olympics on Monday. But Graham, who was born on the Big Island, graduated from Punahou and represents the Federated States of Micronesia, says he learned a lot in his loss to Charles Edward Betts of the United States.

“I just made a stupid mental error in the first period and that cost me, I gave a much better showing in the second period but couldnt close it out. I feel like Im closing the gap more though,” said Graham, who has been wrestling just six years. “I simply need more mat time and more matches.”

Graham, 32, lives on Chuuk, where he is director of SHIP/HOOPS, a nonprofit agency that services youth. Although he didn’t come close to medaling, just making it to the Olympics is an incredible achievement. I wrote about Graham in Sunday’s column because his story is my favorite kind … that of an athlete who can have a huge positive impact on others through what he does in competition and other aspects of life.

Quotes from UH football’s first practice

August 2nd, 2012

Here are my quotes that didn’t make it into Friday’s column about the University of Hawaii’s first football practice of fall camp Thursday.

Offensive coordinator Tommy Lee on choosing a starting quarterback:

“The big thing we’re looking for is consistency. We don’t want to have ‘A’ look good one day then ‘B’ be better than him the next day. But if ‘A’ is tshe guy today and tomorrow and the next day, then maybe you’ve got something.”

Jeremy Higgins took the first rep under center, but all involved said to not draw any conclusions from it.

Lee: “Nothing should be made of that. He didn’t stay with the first group the whole time.”

Higgins: “It’s just the first day of camp. Anything can happen.”

Higgins, on what he needs to improve on most: “My feet. Gotta get my feet right. The faster my feet go the faster the ball goes out. My high school coach Vince Passas, he’s real big on that.”

Lee on newcomer, former Duke quarterback Sean Schroeder:

“We like him, we don’t think we can go wrong with him. He’s smart, he picked up the offense pretty fast and he’s got a good arm.”

Schroeder, on learning the UH offense quickly:

“It’s very similar (to what he was used to at Duke). Coach (David) Cutcliffe knew coach (Norm) Chow and they run very similar offenses. Rhythmic passing game, West Coast style. Establish a running game to set up play action. The only big difference is terminology. It’s like learning a new language.”

On his performance in the first practice:

“It was a good first day overall. Good effort all-around. But there’s no such thing as a perfect session. You can always do more.”

David Graves on offense’s improvement from the end of spring practice.

“Our timing has gotten so much better. Everyone.”

On not getting the first practice play at quarterback:

“We never know who goes first. It’s more of a jump in thing.”

” just go in and focus on the play. When I’m not in I’m taking mental reps.”