Sugar, spice and everything was nice

The Butterfly Effect.

Rube Goldberg’s Machine.

Whatever the description, it took a progression of circumstances to lead to the Warriors’ playing in the 2008 Sugar Bowl 10 years ago today.

At the end of the 2004 season, during which the Warriors won the final four games to finish at 8-5, head coach June Jones admittedly had lost the joy of the job. The melancholy was short lived.

Two significant things happened. Jones hired his former boss, Jerry Glanville, as defensive coordinator. Glanville was loud, ballsy and, oh, so much fun. He refused to acknowledge that he knew everybody’s name. He constructed a scheme that was aggressive and, thanks to Jones’ offensive schemes, unrepentant. The Warriors’ 2005 recruiting class also was one of the best in the program’s history, producing a Heisman candidate (Colt Brennan), the school’s leading tackler (Solomon Elimimian) and future stars such as Davone Bess, Adam Leonard, Brashton Satele, Laupepa Letuli, Aaron Kia, Blaze Soares, Dan “Ice Man” Kelly and so forth.

The following season, the NCAA delivered good news (approving sixth seasons for running back Nate Ilaoa and safety Leonard Peters) and assistant coach Jeff Reinbold delivered three-quarters of a secondary (cornerbacks Myron Newberry and Gerard Lewis and safety Jacob Patek). Thanks to Brennan, the Warriors produced the most efficient offense in college football history. The Warriors’ comeback victory over Arizona State in the 2006 Hawaii Bowl assured a placement in the 2007 preseason polls. As Central Florida has learned, it’s easier to ascend a poll when you start off in a poll.

And while Herman Frazier was much maligned for not crafting a high-profile schedule, what the Warriors got was what they needed. The WAC even helped, placing a UH-Boise State matchup at the end of the regular season, allowing a dramatic buildup to an otherwise underwhelming schedule.

Whatever the case and the circumstances, it was a fun ride.

Now, if only the committee would induct the 2007 team into the Circle of Honor …


  1. jm2375 January 1, 2018 2:15 pm

    Happy New Year!

    ST – typo: 2005, not 2015. 😆


  2. Stephen Tsai January 1, 2018 2:20 pm

    Every time somebody suggests a candidate, two things should be considered:

    > Did he apply? I know a lot of people like to do the local style of “if you want me, you know where to find me.” Thing is, that’s not how it works for any state job. A candidate actually has to apply. Even if a committee says, “hey, we think you’re the guy.” The “guy” still has to apply.
    > Is he qualified? There are certain boxes that need to be checked, and one of them is having a college degree. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know the Billionaire’s Club has a lot of non-graduate members. But if you work at UH, you need a degree.
    By the way, being close would help. But every time I hear someone say he’s 10 points away from a qualifying SAT or a credit short of a degree … well, maybe not so. I was going to surprise someone by helping him use life’s work experience for the missing credit. Turns out it was more than a credit and not enough life’s work.

  3. Haleakala January 1, 2018 2:22 pm

    Have a GREAT AND HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

  4. Stephen Tsai January 1, 2018 2:22 pm

    Thanks. I have time-warp issues.

  5. boolakanaka January 1, 2018 3:12 pm

    ST…as to the teammate I’ve been touting, the answers are yes and yes. He has arguably the closest and most long standing ties to every HS program and coaches in the state. Every blue chip lineman in the last 20 years has gone through his programs, almost without exception.

    I hope they at least have the courtesy and Akamai to speak to him.

  6. H-Man January 1, 2018 3:45 pm

    I didn’t think UCF would beat Auburn, but McKenzie Milton was awesome. Really glad he chose to play for UCF to get this opportunity; this season; this win…

  7. Abunai January 1, 2018 5:30 pm

    Honestly I think UCF has a great chance of beating Auburn. Auburn beats Georgia and Alabama. They thought they should’ve went to the playoffs. Not playing in the playoffs what is there to play for? Really what would it prove? Nothing.

  8. Abunai January 1, 2018 5:30 pm

    had* not has…

  9. oldtimer808 January 1, 2018 5:33 pm

    boolakanaka are you referring to Brian D. Happy New Year

  10. Boolakanaka January 1, 2018 5:56 pm


  11. jm2375 January 1, 2018 6:05 pm

    ST – #4 😆

  12. PONO January 1, 2018 6:24 pm

    Is BD still employed by HFD? He would have to take a pay cut to coach the OL.

  13. Boolakanaka January 1, 2018 6:47 pm

    Recently retired.

  14. Boolakanaka January 1, 2018 6:54 pm

    And Chris Neaole’s base salary was 150k.

  15. Rodney January 1, 2018 7:30 pm

    Not impressed with Bama Qb
    A great running back.

  16. SteveM January 1, 2018 10:02 pm

    Happy New Year, everyone!

    It’s been 10 years since the Sugar Bowl and this year I might finally find my way to New Orleans for the first time. Great memories of the Tsai-kos and UH football back then as I archived the photos and odyssey of LizKauai, Kekoa, and UHfan808.

  17. SteveM January 1, 2018 10:07 pm

    The Tsai-ko Sugar Bowl treks are currently off-line, but the photo archive of the 2007 Christmas party and Sugar Bowl Send-off is at:

  18. ai-eee-soos January 2, 2018 12:32 am

    2018 – Year of the WARRIORS !!!


  19. Maddog50 January 2, 2018 5:44 am

    It was -15 degrees in the Chicago area this am! Ya -15! I keep saying this weather is just plain stupid, kinda like some of the pieces authored by a certain write with the initials F L-imaginary converversarionsmpawned off as an interview. A bulk of the indiscretions i.e. Penalties that haunted the team were committed by the unit Coached by the Coach that resigned mid year. That includes the antics of the OL that had a sideline tantrum(not uncommon, but not acceptable). I do have one wish for the upcoming staff hiring. I wish for knowledgeable experienced coaches but I want a fiery get in your face leader with a fiery inspirational approach. If you have watched some or all the bowl games as I have you should notice the passion exhibited by unit coaches and coordinators as they lead their units. I long for a fire in the belly guy who players want to please and perform-that’s a coach. The other wish I have is for unproven and even proven players shut down those twitter accounts touting what their gonna do. My high school had a seal and a quote “facts non verba”. Deeds not words!!! GoWarriors!!!

  20. Chicken Grease January 2, 2018 6:18 am

    “Year of the Warriors”? No. They’re gonna have go earn it. Clearly. Last chance, Rolo.

    And anybody still complaining about Milton goingnover to UCF? Grow up. Show me where he SIGNED to attend UH. Go complain about the “is he still QB’g?” Hawaii dude o’er at ‘bama. What? He gets a pass because “he wen’ private shchool?” Ridiculous.

    Happy 2018.

  21. cappie the dog January 2, 2018 7:03 am

    There was a great Rube Goldberg machine in “The Goonies” but I don’t think it actually worked because there are cuts.

    The magic of editing.

    When you watch the short film that precedes the announcing of Hawaii’s starting lineups, you think, yeah, Hawaii can beat anybody.

    Being in the Sugar Bowl doesn’t seem real anymore.

    This committee who conspired to keep Central Florida from reaching the playoffs, would probably have ranked Hawaii around #19.

    At some point, winning Blackout wasn’t important anymore, and I was rooting against my economic interests and cheering on UCF.

    Scott Frost has the potential to be Dan Hawkins. Or in basketball circles, Dan Monson.


    Be Mark Few.

    So, so close. So painful to think about. Considering the opponent. Considering the state. Considering what you know about the state because you read too many political science books.

  22. cappie the dog January 2, 2018 7:04 am

    I Support Dru Brown.

    Just give him some talent to work with.

  23. Tempmanoa January 2, 2018 7:17 am

    McKenzie Milton had an incredible season and beating number 5 Auburn may get them up their in the final rankings. He was the offensive player of the game and he clearly showed that he is the leader of that talented offense (UCF also has a great defense–good team speed). The Georgia vs Oklahoma Rose Bowl was incredible with two great offenses. Georgia vs. Alabama should be an interesting contrast of style. Georgia offense vs. Alabama ground game and defense (Georgia’s defense is not bad either). See what happens if Alabama gets down. Alabama can wear down Georgia’s defense and tire out pass and run blockers for Georgia.

  24. islandman January 2, 2018 9:26 am

    They’re gonna have go earn it
    How you make the green color ?

  25. winning January 2, 2018 10:09 am

    I had a conversation with someone about if Mac Milton had come to UH he wouldn’t have been able to play his first year based on Rolo’s assessments, one of being that “he gives us the best chance to win”. The cream always rises to the top! Doesn’t matter if he is a freshman. Having one’s cream is always better than sour milk. Talent (with great attitude) always wins out.

  26. Stephen Tsai January 2, 2018 10:14 am

    New post:

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