Bolla responds to critics

January 26th, 2009

I went to the UH women’s basketball game against Utah State. The Wahine didn’t play as poorly as in many other games this season, but still lost, 52-43. It’s the team’s eighth defeat in a row, dropping UH to 3-16.     

Brian McInnis will have a full report in the Monday Star-Bulletin, and I wrote a column on whether it is time to find a new coach. I asked coach Jim Bolla a few questions after the game. 

On improvement:

“I think the effort was there tonight. We’ve had spurts where we’ve had effort, I think tonight was the most sustained effort. I think, especially in the first half, we did a good job rebounding the ball. We had situations where we would shoot it, miss it, rebound it, and do it again. That typically has happened to us. Progress was made there. We just couldn’t get a shot to drop. We just missed too many layups, I think six in the first half.”

On the critics:

“I don’t mind, if people come to the game and pay to come, you can criticize me all you want. But these people that sit at home, don’t give the university a dollar, don’t know what’s going on at practice, aren’t here every day and understand how hard these young ladies are working. OK. You know, that’s just the way it is. And it’s not just here, it’s everywhere. It’s not something that’s a Hawaii thing, it’s anywhere. People want to see winners, and right now we’re not winning. But it doesn’t mean the kids aren’t practicing hard, aren’t playing hard.

“They played hard. You can’t fault them for not playing hard. But anybody who does that (criticize) I don’t know what to say to a person who does that.”

Has he heard people are saying the team has given up on him?

“That’s someone talking to someone else, someone who’s not around these kids every day, knowing how hard they’re working. And that’s fine. They can criticize all they want. If I went to watch them at their job, I’m sure I could probably criticize them about their job. They don’t have that luxury. I’ll put my coaching abilities against any one of these critics. OK. How many games have they won as head coach. It’s easy to criticize people when you don’t understand their job. All you see is what the end result is. You know, same thing is going on with Bob (Nash). I see Bob in the office early, I see Bob in the office late. I see him working with his kids, I see him breaking film down. It’s not that the effort’s not there. The results aren’t there. OK. It’s just the nature of the beast right now.

“You hear football got a late start. Well you know what, I got hired on July 17. I lost two recruiting years. It took four years for me to get a full-time staff. How far behind am I? So let’s get the real story out there, where we are.

“It’s easy to say in your fifth year you should be good. And I said, at the (preseason) press conference, I said that myself. We should be good. But you know what, when I have one assistant coach my first year and get hired in July, I didn’t lose one year, I lost two years recruiting. And when I don’t have a full-time staff, until going into my fifth year, of November my fifth year, is when I get my full-time coaching positions filled? OK. But you know what, it is what it is. I can’t change that. All we can do is work every day with these young ladies.

“People can say what they want to say. You know what, get your facts straight. I tell you what, 5,000 people come to this game, they can criticize me all they want.”

Has he met with Jim Donovan since the start of the year?

“No. No. Nope, not at all.”

– By Dave Reardon 






8 Responses to “Bolla responds to critics”

  1. Wayne O.:

    Somebody has to be responsible and accountable for the women’s basketball program and it has to be Jim Bolla. Actually, the fault is Herman Frazier since he hired Bolla. Herman is gone and I hate to say it, but Bolla has to go too. He has not recruited enough good players to sustain a winning program. That’s the bottom line. I also didn’t like the idea that he hired his wife as an assistant. What I can’t stand is all the stupid turnovers. Ditto for the men’s program. In college, we need good guards and the Warriors to not. Most of them can’t hit the side of the barn on 3 pointers. We have only one good player, Fleming. That’s it. I watch a lot of college basketball since I’m retired and I see so many good players on so many teams, many from mid-majors. I watched almost the whole game on Sat. or Sun. with George Mason and Virginia Commenwealth and they are so athletic and can shoot. I’m not impressed w/ Nash and his staff’s recruiting efforts so far. You would think they can get a decent point guard and a shooting guard who can play his position which is to shoot. What happened to the Alika Smiths of the world. My goodness. I am so disgusted I don’t even watch the games on K-5 and that’s pretty bad. Too bad. I miss Savo, English, McIntire, Burneika. At least they could hit the 3. If Nash doesn’t do it in the next 2 years, I’m sorry, but Jim Donavan has some serious decisions to made. The bottom line is you have to win, because the fans and the public is footing the bill. Otherwise, programs will have to be cancelled because of financial considerations and that would be too bad.

  2. kev-1:

    “People can say what they want to say. You know what, get your facts straight. I tell you what, 5,000 people come to this game, they can criticize me all they want.”

    I don’t need to go to the game to tell you I think you should BEAT IT. Sorry, that’s just my opinion, and I am entitled to it. I never question how hard the athletes play. I will question a coaches behavior, attitude, and record. Aaaaaaloha!

  3. locomoco:

    I give to the University – Koa Anuenue, Na Koa, the School I grad from, Alumni Assoc., among other ways. I support UH athletics every chance I have. There are many others like me who want to see every UH sport succeed. We have every right to criticize.

    What Bolla doesn’t know, but we all witnessed first-hand, is what the program was like pre-Bolla and pre-Frazier. Under Vince Goo, it was a model program in every way — graduation/academics, highly competitive team, and classy participants. No complaints … just outstanding results. I take that back; the only complaints we heard were when Goo’s deserving teams got snubbed for the NCAA Tournament, and those complaints were justified.

    Bolla was so fortunate that Vherman gave him a ticket back into coaching. He was a co-conspirator with Vherman in quietly getting his contract extended. If he’s getting such a raw deal here he should go back to selling bbq grills in NV. Wahine Basketball’s most successful and exciting stretch during the Bolla era was when Pat Charity served as interim head coach.

  4. bolla must go:

    “I don’t mind, if people come to the game and pay to come, you can criticize me all you want. But these people that sit at home, don’t give the university a dollar, don’t know what’s going on at practice, aren’t here every day and understand how hard these young ladies are working” sorry, but i already pay part of your salary with my tax dollars thus i do get to say what i want. you need to go back to selling grills because the fire your putting under these girls is not working. they may work hard but it is not showing up on the court or the classrooms as the your records show and their graduation rate has dropped. UH should have really hired someone on Goo’s staff instead of you. Also wilton needs to go too, as he has taken the team as far he can and can no longer recruit players to remain competitive enough to get back to the final four. not enough skills, height, athletic or coaching abilities to overcome the monster block on the other side of the net.

  5. J Bolla:

    Give me a break. I am fully commited to the program and I run a “happy” clean program. It’s not as if I applied to other coaching jobs or had past players complain about my coaching style. Furthermore Hawaii plays in one of the toughest conferences a year. As for attendance, under my direction the home crowd averages 3,000 people per game or year, whatever.

  6. gethimout!:

    Bolla should go not only for that fact that he is not succeeding but for the treatment of the girls in the first 4 years of his coaching. We read in the media at the end of last season how he treated the girls and the athletic department did not do anything. If I was a parent I would not let my daughter play under such a coach.
    This seems to be the first year he is defending his players and not throwing them under the bus in the media like previous years.
    He had great talent to work with from Vince Goo’s recruiting classes, if he was smart he would have used that talent to win games and want to bring good players in. He also never helped with furthering the players careers. Two players out of the last 4 years could have been drafted or even might have been invited to WNBA camps but he did nothing to help these players out.
    Wouldn’t this be a selling point to get fresh new talent into your program??

  7. Happy program?:

    There is nothing “happy” nor clean about your coaching program!!! And plenty of past player have complained about your coaching style!!!! If you looked after your players they would have looked after you!
    I have been to the games and I gave never seen 3000 people at a game…

  8. research marketing gurus:

    You ought to really control the remarks on this website

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