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.”
— Craig K. Stutzmann (@CoachStutzmann) January 23, 2020
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.
Thank you coach for everything ! Dissapointed in the outcome but will support you wherever you go! Thank you for all you’ve done for the state of Hawaii and for me 🤙🏼 https://t.co/vVhgRSHA2b
— °°° K . C °°° (@ColeHunter520) January 24, 2020
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.”