Rainbow Forecast: Football coach hiring possible; men’s volleyball caps road trip; hoops teams win streaks on line

Hawaii athletic director David Matlin could announce a new head football coach as soon as this week. / Star-Advertiser file photo by Krystle Marcellus

Will the Hawaii football team have a new head coach this week?

That’s the big question in this week’s Forecast, one that could be resolved as soon as Tuesday, when UH is allowed to begin formal reviews of its applications to find the successor to Nick Rolovich. Assistants like Craig Stutzmann and Brian Smith have been reported to be in the process of joining Washington State’s staff under Rolo, but could still be in the running for the Manoa top job.

Athletic director David Matlin, who’s heading up the search, must balance moving with speed with moving with purpose.

As for the week’s sporting events, UH rolls right through last weekend with its top-ranked men’s volleyball team taking on a pair of opponents in Tennessee on Monday and Tuesday to cap its four-match road trip.

The Rainbow Warrior and Rainbow Wahine basketball teams swept a pair of doubleheaders last week, instilling some confidence in their respective squads heading into the third week of league play. The Wahine, with a jazzed-up offense, are coming off a program-record 18 3-pointers in an exciting win over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday — for which guard Julissa Tago earned her first Big West player of the week award on Monday. They take to the road for two this week, while the UH men scrapped for an all-for-one win over contender UC Santa Barbara at the midpoint of their four-game homestand.

It’s a light week for home events — just a Friday alumni match for men’s volleyball and a Saturday game for men’s basketball.

Oh, and happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, all.

Men’s volleyball: No. 1 Hawaii (7-0) at Lincoln Memorial (3-2), 3 p.m. (Live stream)
The Railsplitters are playing host to a No. 1 team for the first time and playing volleyball in Frank B. “Tex” Turner Arena for the first time. Will Lincoln keep the now-unanimous top-ranked Rainbow Warriors honest after a day of travel from Illinois? The Railsplitters are coming off a four-set loss to then-No. 15 Ohio State last Thursday.

Men’s volleyball: No. 1 Hawaii at King (2-3), 2 p.m.
The Rainbow Warriors travel 95 miles between campuses in Tennessee to get to Bristol, site of their fourth match in five days. Will the ‘Bows have the legs to finish this trip off unscathed?

Women’s basketball: Hawaii (8-9, 2-2 Big West) at Long Beach State (7-10, 2-2), 5 p.m. (BigWest.TV)
Does fun and gun work on the road? The Rainbow Wahine, who scrapped their deliberate offense last week in favor of an up-tempo version — resulting in wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton — will find out at the Walter Pyramid against a feisty opponent. The Beach just knocked off previously unbeaten CSUN. The Pyramid has been inhospitable to the Wahine of late; they’ve lost there the last three years.

Track and field: Ed Jacoby Invitational, all day
The Wahine track stars head to Nampa, Idaho, for their first indoor meet of the year, having come off their first of two homegrown Sunrise Meets of the season last week.

Men’s volleyball: Alumni game, 7 p.m.
The ‘Bows unwind against some familiar faces to ease their way back from a winding road trip.

Track and field: Ed Jacoby Invitational, all day
Event concludes.

Women’s basketball: Hawaii at UC Riverside (6-11, 2-1), 3 p.m. (BigWest.TV)
Laura Beeman blamed herself after UH’s two losses on the road to begin BWC play, saying she should’ve “taken the cuffs off sooner.” Well, the Wahine sure played free against the Highlanders in Honolulu last week, catching them completely unawares with their willingness to shoot early in the shot clock. But UCR bounced back with a home win over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, and you’d expect they’ll be better prepared for UH’s new mojo this time.

Men’s basketball: UC Davis (8-11, 2-1 Big West) at Hawaii (12-6, 3-1), 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
This battle will determine who stays within striking distance of league leader UC Irvine for for the time being. Davis stumbled in its Big West opener at its Pavilion, falling to Riverside, but in true Jim Les fashion the Aggies have scrapped back and are coming off an impressive 2-0 road trip to Long Beach State and CSUN. The Aggies host Fullerton on Wednesday before flying out to the islands. This year, the Aggies are led by Joe Mooney (15.0 ppg). He and Stefan Gonzalez have combined for 91 of the team’s 146 3-point makes. UH, which was without Bernardo da Silva, turned to its ensemble cast to top UC Santa Barbara last Saturday.


  1. justsomeguy January 20, 2020 2:22 pm

    I want Matlin to take the time he needs to make the best choice for the program…. and I know there are rules and procedures and red tape…..but the lack of any information is killing me man

  2. H-Man January 20, 2020 4:25 pm

    Craig Stutzmann and Brian Smith are moving on. We fans need to move on as well. I trust AD Matlin will make the best choice.

  3. Frankie January 20, 2020 5:56 pm

    I think Stuz showed where his heart is. If he was interested, I am sure Rolo would have let him wait out the hiring of the HC at UH to offer job or not. There was no rush to going to WSU, he could have shown that he was interested by doing what coach Abe did, continue to be part of UH. Wearing WSU colors shows his true colors. Let’s move on and hope somehow Timmy Chang has a place as OC with new HC. Go Warriors!

  4. YoungWarriorsFan January 20, 2020 8:44 pm

    What’s done is done….we need to get a coach and Hawaii legislators or board of regents better get on board with the hiring of this new coach.

    Wouldn’t it be a slap in the face for all involved if the new coach crosses the 1M mark!

    I think Rolo would have stayed if the media didn’t attacked him and his boss (Matlin) stood up for him about supposedly tackling a camera snob that was on the field before a game was over.

    Folks, Hawaii athletics is in shambles and the media doesn’t do it any justice. We need to support whoever the next coach is and that coach has one heck of a job gaining the trust of the Hawaii fans!

    Tsai, you bought your opening ticket to the WSU vs Utah State ticket yet?

    Here we go…let the fun began!

  5. sports for fun January 21, 2020 1:38 am

    Okay. I’m tired of all the talk about Rolo and what he’s doing. I enjoyed Rolo and his time here, but that’s over. No hate for Rolo, it’s just time to turn the page.

    I’m hoping the new HC will be an up and coming young (40-ish) coach; a coach with a lot of energy and creativity. I think that Matlin is covering his bases and leaving no stone unturned to get the choice right concerning the HC position.

    I understand that there was an interview with the Virginia OC, but he doesn’t excite me. Hopefully it’s just an interview and nothing else.

    Does anyone besides me think that Bryant Moniz would be a good hire for the quarterbacks coach position (or possibly a grad assistant?) with the new regime. In time, he could possibly become a R & S OC.

  6. H-Man January 21, 2020 4:22 am

    Not promoting Robert Anae, but I am not opposed to his hiring as HC. First, he is an offensive coordinator for a successful Virginia team that went 8-5 and 9-5 the past two years. Yes, Virginia struggled under then new head coach Bronco Mendenhall in 2015, but with Robert Anae as the OC, they turned it around.

  7. H-Man January 21, 2020 4:31 am

    And secondly, if Robert Anae is selected, I am hoping he brings Kelly Poppinga with him. Here’s his playing experience:
    Utah State (2003-04)
    BYU (2006-07)
    Miami Dolphins (2008)
    St. Louis Rams (2008)
    Arizona Cardinals (2008)

    Latest coaching experience:
    2013-15 – BYU
    Special Teams Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
    2016-2017 – Virginia
    Special Teams Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
    2018-pres. – Virginia
    Outside Linebackers

    Kelly is a young coach with tons of upside.

  8. justsomeguy January 21, 2020 4:58 am

    H-Man –

    I definitely agree, Poppinga is a great young coach. Heard he was pretty key in the development of Kyle Van Noy at BYU.

Comments are closed.