Hawaii football: Craig Stutzmann thanks islands in Twitter post

Craig Stutzmann is officially moving on to Washington State after Hawaii decided to hire Todd Graham as its head coach. / Star-Advertiser file photo by Craig T. Kojima

Former Hawaii football quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Craig Stutzmann, a strong candidate for the head coaching job that went to Todd Graham, became the third former member of the program to take to Twitter in recent days and thank those he’s leaving behind.

UH’s decision to hire Graham on Tuesday night cemented his move to Pullman, Wash., to be a member of the new Washington State staff.

As ex-coach Nick Rolovich and ex-quarterback Cole McDonald did, Stutzmann expressed gratitude for the place that led to an opportunity for bigger things. Of the three, though, the Saint Louis School graduate is the only homegrown product.

The former UH wide receiver tweeted, in part, on Thursday afternoon: “Mahalo to the #QBHui & ALL Rainbow Warriors who play for & represent the State of Hawai‘i. I’m grateful for your hard work and trust which has contributed to my growth as a coach & as a man.”

Stutzmann was a finalist for the UH job, KHON2 reported.

He’d been a popular name voiced by the UH fan base to succeed Rolovich — and keep the run-and-shoot offense intact — since Rolovich’s defection last week.

McDonald let his feelings on the matter be known.

Athletic director David Matlin, who made the call to hire Graham, was asked at Graham’s introductory press conference about going away from the seeming groundswell to hire someone in house.

“We had some great candidates, some great internal candidates,” Matlin said. “Great younger candidates. Great local candidates. Great people from outside. My job is, it’s really simple: to hire who I feel is best for our student-athletes and our program, no matter who that is. And there’s a lot of factors that make up that. When I added them all up, he was the guy. That said, some of those others, do I think they could be a good coach here? Maybe even a great coach here? Absolutely. But I have to determine who is the best. So, I was honored that we had so many great applicants.”


  1. SteveM January 23, 2020 6:34 pm

    Brian McInnis — thanks for the updates!

    Would like to see more from you, but please tell Stephen Tsai that his Tsai-kos miss him at this critical time.

  2. Brian McInnis January 23, 2020 6:56 pm

    I’ll pass it along.

  3. Warrior loyalty January 23, 2020 11:33 pm

    Stutz did what he thought was best for himself when he tagged along with Rolo to Pullman. Not what was necessarily best for the Hawaii team back home. Think that things would have turned out differently if he stayed back and held down the fort. Best wishes to him.

  4. Whats Up January 24, 2020 12:00 am

    Thank you Stutz for all you did for Hawaii Football!

    Talking about how Todd Graham fits into Hawaii Football, I will temper my expectations.

    There is a lot of talent on this roster, so the cupboard is not bare… unless a mass defection happens. I also caution the expectations of “Fit” for Hawaii new Football Head Coach. Not talking about if he is a local or a alumni… and his history of being a outstanding fundraiser. I talking about similarities in offense philosophies with Norm Chow. Example Graham said 3-4 WR formations with Tight Ends and no Huddle up tempo… a lot of us forgot Norm Chow did the same thing, albeit with a pro-set offense.

    So I will give Graham a fair shake just like I did with previous Hawaii Head Coaches but I got to see how his fundraising, Texas high schools recruit connections and offense/defense philosophy translates to Hawaii Football.

  5. NorthShoreFan January 24, 2020 6:40 am

    Waiting to hear of the new coaching staff. Hoping Brian can fill in the blanks for us.
    Just gives the 2020 season more anticipation….waiting to see what spring ball will bring.

  6. justsomeguy January 24, 2020 9:39 am

    Whats Up –

    Norm Chow ran a pro-set offense. Large linemen, 6’5 quarterbacks, and prototypical skill players. Todd Graham runs a hurry-up version of the Spread which is a descendant of the original Air-Raid that Leach and Co. learned from Hal Mumme. The Spread is used to maximize output when you have smaller + quicker players, especially more agile linemen (Much like the RnS Rolo and Stutz run).

    I cannot speak to exactly what Graham will do with Hawaii, but in the past he has designed his offenses around a very down-the-field passing game. Graham will absolutely run the ball more than Rolo, more of a 60/40 split between passing and running but this will account for more option concepts with Chevan who has decent speed + change of direction ability. The offense won’t be the RnS but it will be a fast paced VERY aggressive offense if it’s anything like his previous schemes.

  7. justsomeguy January 24, 2020 10:05 am

    Todd Orlando just named as DC for USC. If he brings in his own guys then DL coach Chad Kauha’aha’a will be looking for work…..hope Todd gives him a call, see if he has any interest in returning home (he’s a Baldwin Alum and their Head Coach back in the day).

  8. Luke January 24, 2020 11:56 am

    Can’t wait to see 2020 Go BOWS season tix holder

  9. Whats Up January 24, 2020 1:45 pm

    I did say Chow ran the pro-set offense, then changed to a modified up tempo no huddle 3-4 WR/TE read/option spread offense. Ikaika Woosley and Sean Schroder were not a 6’5 QB’s. I’m not saying Graham will be the next Chow on Offense but the similarities are uncanny.

    Chow took over change the no TE RnS to multiple offensive philosophies from Pro set to no huddle up tempo 3-4 WR with a TE. I remember certain blog host stating that the current roster was recruited for the RnS offense and some players left do to not being a fit for Chow offense.

    Now Graham is taking over and once again changing the no TE RnS to a no huddle, up tempo offense with a TE. I just use caution and temper my expectations knowing that history has a funny way repeating itself.

  10. Buffoman January 24, 2020 1:55 pm

    I like the new concept. The addition of the te should help open the run dimension for Chevon and take advantage of his shiftiness. Watching the Ravens with their wide open te loaded offense and a shifty qb, I hope we can have something like that. Great for a ground game and great down the field passing opportunities.

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