A good week for Manoa, except for passing of two nice men
It’s been a pretty good week for University of Hawaii sports. Here are some of the highlights:
>> Wins by both basketball teams, including a Big West regular-season championship-clincher for the Rainbow Wahine. This is huge since it guarantees UH a place in the conference tournament semifinals. They just need to win two games to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
>> Football coach Norm Chow completed his staff for the upcoming season by promoting Lance Samuseva to full-time defensive line coach and bringing in Abraham Elimimian to coach defensive backs. Going from zero to two former Warrior players on the full-time staff probably doesn’t translate into a winning season against an ominous schedule after four straight losing seasons, but it is definitely a big step in the right direction.
>> The baseball team now had three wins in a row after romping over Pepperdine 15-8 in UH’s first road game of the year. With six homers already, UH has 150 percent of the number of roundtrippers 10 games into the 2015 season than it did all of 2014.
Some of that can be attributed to livelier baseballs being used this season, but it’s also pretty obvious that the Rainbows are putting a stronger lineup on the field.
>> UH received a $1.2 million anonymous donation. It won’t solve all of the athletic department’s problems, and UH doesn’t get the money right away. But it’s much better than the proverbial poke in the eye with a sharp stick … especially considering all the negative financial news.
>> The men’s volleyball is coming off a sweep of Cal State Northridge.
>> It’s also been a sad week in the passing away of former basketball coach Larry Little (and yes, he was as nice as everyone is saying he was). Also, I just learned of the passing of former UH grad assistant trainer Takashi Tanaka. Tanaka was just 34. He was a very kind young man and helpful in other ways than being a trainer; for example, he served as an interpreter when teams from Japan played at UH.
>> Interviews for the new athletic director begin today. There is no credence to the rumor that today is Ben Jay’s last day in that post, unless as of last night he had not been informed of it. And, for the last time, his wife and kids DO NOT live in California (although they may, along with him, in the future). That stupid rumor was floated months ago by people who should know better, and some apparently still believe it. In other news, the world is still round.
>> I will be off a few days enjoying some time with family and friends. My next column will be in the Star-Advertiser on Wednesday, March 4.
>> Off-topic: Where does Spock rank all-time on the list of greatest wingmen?
Dave, you missed the Women’s Swimming and Diving team that won the MPSF Championship.
Almost all the good news in UH athletics in recent years have been in women’s sports from volleyball, softball, basketball, waterpolo, etc. while men’s sports have languished in mediocrity or shameful awfulness. Unfortunately, women’s sports, maybe outside of volleyball, makes no money. I wonder people who’s so quick to demand new contract for women’s basketball coach takes into account how much that program costs UH (including her salary which is already near the top in the league – and well deserved). These people should actually direct their efforts in seeking accountability from the sport that has the biggest impact, football, with a payroll for just the assistants that probably exceeds the total payroll for all women’s sports head coaches. Totally justifiable if football is making the amounts it was pulling in prior to Chow. But it isn’t and unlikely to do so this year either. Yes, let’s applaud the successes in women’s sports but let’s all ask for accountability in football to keep the women’s programs strong.
Enjoy your vacation Dave. You guys in sports have been working really hard to keep us informed, and in pushing the hot button issues when it comes to UH sports. It’s a well earned rest.
Before you go on vacation, will there be any tidbits on who the interviewees are? Or do we need to wait for the March 4 column?
Have a nice vacation Dave. We still gotta do lunch my man.
If in fact it is time to replace the Aloha Stadium, I would suggest building a world class stadium on the Ali Wai golf course property this would include adequate parking but also several walkway bridges across the Ali Wai canal so Waikiki hotel guest can walk across to the stadium for special events or bowl games. My original idea included a stop at the stadium for HART. A new stadium in that location would be perfect venue for many major events and concerts. As many cities have done, sponsorship by a major corporation could cover much of the costs! Although I now live in Colorado, I lived in Honolulu for over 40 years and during that time had season tickets for UH football and as I sat there in Aloha stadium, I realized how far it was from our fans the of a major stadium in Waikiki came to mind for all reasons I have stated above!
It is refreshing that women are making an impact in the workforce and in the sports area. Women sportscasters, Women basketball officials, even in the NBA. We have an NBA assistant coach on the Spurs(Becky Hammons) who will one day soon be a Head Coach in Division I college men’s basketball program or in the NBA. Women own and run small and large businesses and are successful. Our next President of the United States could very well be a woman. Doesn’t matter the gender as long as you’re good at what you do.