Respected administrative assistant leaving UH

UCLA is at it again.
This time, it’s one of UH’s most valuable staffers — Courtney Chai — heading to Westwood.
Chai has that wordy title of assistant to the associate athletic director/administrative services at UH. But she also has handled administrative work for the UH baseball and men’s volleyball teams. She has a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount and a master’s from Long Beach State.
“I think she’s the best,” baseball coach Mike Trapasso said. “We’ll miss her. It’s a great opportunity.”
At UCLA, she will work with the volleyball team. It’s fitting, given her background as a volleyball player, coach and director.
“She’s really good at filling in the blanks,” UH volleyball coach Charlie Wade said of Chai’s diligence in fulfilling tasks. “She’d carry things to completion.”
Wade said he has known Chai and her family for several years. Her father, Dennis Chai, was a UH basketball player and UH professor. Dennis Chai was the recipient of the 2014 Kane Fernandez Award for community service. He died in 2016.
“My wife coached her when she was in the ninth grade (at Kamehameha Schools),” Wade said. “I was friends with her dad. She’s more than just a co-worker. She’s been a good friend, and I’ve been friends with her family for a long time. We’re going to miss her.”
Former Warrior football player Keelan Ewaliko finished fourth in the bull-riding competition at the Makawao Rodeo yesterday.
It was Ewaliko’s first bull-riding event in five years, before he joined the Warriors. He would have placed higher except he was thrown on his last ride.
“A little rusty, a little banged up, but good to be back,” Ewaliko wrote in an e-mail.


  1. NorthShoreFan July 9, 2018 10:42 am

    It seems UH develops great talent and we lose them to “better” opportunity. I feeling like we just the minor league AAA developing pro talent.
    Just speaks volumes about our human resources and how we develop them….

    Good Luck!

  2. Da Punchbowl Kid July 9, 2018 11:17 am

    Aloha Courtney! Good luck to you.

    Don’t stop, Keelan!

  3. burro sabio July 9, 2018 11:22 am

    Did not know that Dr. Chai passed away. Good man and great basketball player, could shred kids much younger than he was.

  4. A-House July 9, 2018 12:34 pm

    if the PAC 12 can “steal” players and UH staff to bolster their programs, then, IMHO, UH should be good enough to be a part of the conference.

    academically, UH has improved and may have to improve more to meet their “standard(s)”

    we sure play enough of their conference members — now, and in the future, UH need to beat them consistently — hot dog, they will use this as an excuse not to extend an invitation.

  5. cappie the dog July 9, 2018 2:16 pm

    Hawaii probably needs to prove they can dominate in football and basketball at the mid-major level in order to get a PAC-12 invite.

    Rutgers, however, had a middle-of-the-road athletic program and somehow snagged a Big Ten invite.

    Anything is possible, I guess.

    Academically, didn’t Hawaii rank ahead of Oregon in that international poll?

  6. Stephen Tsai July 9, 2018 2:31 pm

    Before UH can dream Pac-12 dreams, it needs to do well in MWC and Big West.

  7. cappie the dog July 9, 2018 2:39 pm


    Hawaii is the new Tulsa.

  8. H-Man July 9, 2018 3:39 pm

    Hawaii State needs to show its commitment by upgrading the facilities. All facilities, both academic and athletic.

  9. Stephen Tsai July 9, 2018 5:42 pm

    UH doesn’t seem to be a priority for any of the candidates, at least they didn’t express that in last week’s debate.
    Housing and homelessness seem to be the top topics. When asked about homeless situation, one candidate said: Build more houses. Ba … ba … ba … booze.

  10. Stephen Tsai July 9, 2018 5:45 pm

    That’s like the answer to hunger is grow more food. Or short of money? Print some more.
    My favorite is unpaid bags are bad for the environment. But if you pay for a bag, eh, never mind.

  11. kalua pig July 9, 2018 6:40 pm

    the cost of living in hawaii is our biggest enemy.

  12. PONO July 9, 2018 6:44 pm

    Courtney Chai is a fantastic person, best of luck to her. Her father was a legend and was such a nice guy. I was privileged to be coached by him. RIP.

  13. H-Man July 9, 2018 6:50 pm

    ST, yes, your observation about the candidates hits a nerve. They ALL don’t even have UH on their list. With Ige, it’s homelessness and his shibai “cooling” classrooms. Did he also mention upgrading the marinas (for the rich, of course). With Caldwell, it’s Biki Bikes and bike lanes. And he increased car registration 10% from last year. For myself, I did not vote for either of them. I’ll vote for the first candidate that mentions UH Athletics.

  14. Stephen Tsai July 9, 2018 8:04 pm

    I’m not even talking only about athletics. No candidate is taking about UH at all. It’s a good school, our only state school. But it needs help.

  15. Inyoface July 9, 2018 8:47 pm

    I still think Tuiasoa should’ve been a starter over DSJ.

  16. H-Man July 9, 2018 10:48 pm

    ST. Okay, all for UH. First candidate, Governor/Lt. Governor, that talks improving UH gets my vote. If none do, auwe. Don’t vote? Vote Republican? Protest – Ignore leading candidates and vote for dark-horse? If I write-in my name, will my vote be discarded?

  17. suckkabooya July 10, 2018 12:35 am

    Did any Candidate mention legalized Gambling or Marijuana? Maybe more people would vote if one Candidate was in favor of either or both. For or against, it would make people get out and vote.

  18. roygbivs July 10, 2018 12:45 am

    Well, you can’t blame her… UH and the State of Hawaii, has a really difficult time raising salaries to keep the good ones here.
    Inflation rates always goes up but our employers’ never matches that rate in our raises. Das why it hard to buy a home here too.

    It’s not UCLA

  19. suckkabooya July 10, 2018 1:35 am

    Too many obstacles in the University’s way to get any attention from any candidate. Lots of other problems to fix first. Someone will have UH on it’s agenda when the time is right. Its the People with the larger disregard (for UH) than the candidates. Just my opinion. It is a good school. We need people to take notice.

  20. boolakanaka July 10, 2018 5:47 am

    As to joining the PAC12, probably won’t ever happen unless there is a dramatic shift in how the state funds UH. Even what I consider the bottom tier schools of the PAC12, e.g. WSU, Utah, ….have endowments that are triple and quadruple what UH has—or roughly under 300 million. Among other things, your endowment is the ability to float the activities of the institution, and frankly we are just not in the category of the PAC12, where the upper tier of the schools have endowments that range from 5 to almost 25 billion. The relative scale of these financial underpinnings are just not equal, they are remarkably distant.

  21. cappie the dog July 10, 2018 6:20 am

    I read a study about local governments from Illinois State.

    I would be surprised if legalized gambling comes to Hawaii.

    If I won the lottery, this is how I would spend it.

    Build new stadium.

    I paid for it, so I will insist that they call it Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Stadium.

    Build new library.

    Contribute to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 2024 presidential bid.

  22. A-House July 10, 2018 7:02 am


    interesting comments — yet, Legislature has no problems in finding $$$ to pay for increased union wages — how U figga?

  23. Stephen Tsai July 10, 2018 7:27 am

    If I win the lottery, I’m building a stadium — a Whiffle Ball stadium that is part Fenway (big wall in left field), part whatever that thing is called in San Francisco (with a smaller version of McCovey Cove).
    Then I’m building a 1,000 seat stadium that I would let high school teams play in for free. No admission charge, either. Free food. But they gotta clean up their mess. And toilets are for crapping. No trying to make like Top Gun and pissing without lifting the seat.
    Whatever is left over, I’m buying Ka Leo and turning it into a sports-only newspaper. Free, of course.
    Or I’ll just keep the money and build my own luxury box at Aloha Stadium.

  24. Tempmanoa July 10, 2018 7:34 am

    Dennis Chai was a great guy. Knew him while helping coach Courtney and Puna– two of his daughters. Puna and Courtney have done well and would make him proud.

  25. Andrew July 10, 2018 8:09 am

    UH and PAC-12 shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence at this point. UH is a middle of the pack Big West school. It’s pretty sad to be honest

  26. islandman July 10, 2018 8:12 am

    Washington St will have a projected $67 million athletics deficit as of fiscal 2018. Cal has big deficits and debts mainly due to renovation of its stadium and construction of an athletics complex, among other things. $22 million deficit for one year, FY 2016 for example.
    Washington St women’s basketball, which will have three Molina sisters this coming season, fired its head coach in March. UH signed Fab 15 Konawaena guard, Mikayla Tablit. Not Manoa but UH- Hilo.

  27. A-House July 10, 2018 8:30 am

    I read, with interest, the article on Lenn Sakata and the tributes accorded to him by the SF Giants organization — really happy cause he is a “class” guy.

    however, sad for UH as he was being considered to replace Coach Les, but the job went to Trapasso because Lenn did not have a college degree — believe he was 9 or 10 credits shy of getting his degree

    his experience in the major league with the Orioles surely could have counted for something – how easy it would have been for upper campus to select Sakata and give him a 2 year maximum to full fill his degree requirement — but, the STOGGY, intellects with no vision turned Sakata down tunneled vision — horse blinders — I AM RIGHT attitude — unwilling to look outside the box

    no different today!!!

  28. A-House July 10, 2018 8:46 am

    ” have faith, hope, and charity and the Blessed Lord you will surely please”

    ha, this coming from a non-Christian!

    if UH is middle-of-the-pack for MWC and BWC — then consider making coaching changes, not extensions, who have the innate ability to select great assistants and recruits — exceptions are football [ up & coming ], men/women VB — sand VB and water polo have done well, but no national championships, yet.

    reality is, if I were super rich, UH would be down my list behind cancer research, heart research, St Jude’s, Shriner’s Hospital, etc. — oh, my, what a wonderful dream!

  29. islandman July 10, 2018 8:57 am

    I think UH athletic department has to pay the UH main campus for all the athletic scholarships. But according to a study, the main expense for the comparable schools is compensation of coaches, about 33 % of the total expenses compared to 19 % for the scholarships.

  30. islandman July 10, 2018 9:01 am

    I think UH athletic department has to pay the UH main campus for all the athletic scholarships. But according to a study, the main expense for the comparable schools is compensation of coaches, about 33 percent of the total expenses compared to 19 percent for the scholarships.

  31. Stephen Tsai July 10, 2018 9:03 am

    Sure Pac-12 has this and Pac-12 has that.
    But does a Pac-12 school have a Whiffle Ball stadium? I think not.

  32. Stephen Tsai July 10, 2018 9:03 am

    Anyway, I’m sorta fully awake, so here’s today’s post:

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