Suiaunoa, Hynson set to leave UH

Defensive coordinator Legi Suiaunoa and receivers coach Kefense Hynson are expected to leave the Warriors and join Oregon State’s coaching staff, the Star-Advertiser has learned.

An official announcement could come as early as today.

Suiaunoa coached the UH defensive linemen in 2016, then was promoted to defensive coordinator the past February after Kevin Lempa resigned to join Michigan’s staff.

Hynson is an original member of Nick Rolovich’s initial coaching staff.

The Warriors will need to hire four coaches. Chris Naeole resigned as offensive line coach in October. The NCAA also is permitting the addition of a 10th full-time assistant coach in January.

The Warriors have had six defensive coordinators since 2013: Thom Kaumeyer (2012-2013), Kevin Klune (2014), Tom Mason (12 games in 2015), Abraham Elimimian (one game in 2012), Lempa (2016) and Suiaunoa (2017).

Oregon State’s salary pool for assistant coaches is listed at $2,590,032 for 2017, according to USA Today. The Warriors’ pool $1.2 million.


  1. Lava December 18, 2017 6:33 am

    We’re not asking for much, we just need to bring in coaches, and players, and fans, and a new stadium. This week is huge.

  2. Petey808 December 18, 2017 6:53 am

    Who’s the possible candidates for DC?

  3. H-Man December 18, 2017 7:00 am

    Good luck to Legi and Keyfense. I really wanted to see what changes Legi would have made this coming season. Continuity is so important. Oh well.
    As for new hires, I don’t expect too much, not with the embarrassingly paltry assistants’ salary pool.
    Past and current UH Administrators along with present and past Governors and state “leadership” or inadequate leadership has placed the University of Hawaii on a downward spiral in both academics and athletics.

  4. Akamai Okole December 18, 2017 7:08 am

    Great Morning All!

    Always wanna wish departing staff the best but as the previous poster intimates, taking “the high road” gets increasingly tougher as that target climbs steadily higher and higher…

  5. Akamai Okole December 18, 2017 7:10 am

    Speaking of the State of OR,

    Prayers and Aloha to those near Tacoma along I5

  6. Old School Dave December 18, 2017 7:20 am

    Best of luck to Coaches Suiaunoa (point recruiter in Samoa) and Hynson. Major move to a P-5/Pac-12 program. OSU’s assistant coach salary pool is over double of UH’s. But to many this isn’t important or plays a factor in the betterment of the program.

    I’m sure that Coach Rolovich has candidates in mind (coaches have to always be prepared for staff changes), but the low assistant salary pool is troubling. No sense of urgency among State Legislators, UH Administrators, and the fan base.

    “But, living in beautiful Hawaii is enough compensation! Everyone here has it hard! Just open up the offense, pass on every down, get rid of all running plays, and UH will win! Outscore your opponents, so no need one defense!”

  7. burro sabio December 18, 2017 7:32 am

    From previous post – I keep saying this, everyone wants to move forward but keeps looking to the past or only to what is familiar to them.
    Mack ain’t coming back.
    Dom Capers is the DC of the Packers. If you’re going to keep looking to the past, at least find more reasonable examples.
    Lee, Lee, and Miano are part-time coaches, they aren’t who Rolo needs.

  8. Ipu Man December 18, 2017 7:32 am

    Simple way to get a good defensive guru:
    Find out who was among the best in “small”
    colleges in America’s snow country.
    ie. North and South Dakota State,
    Oshkosh Wisconsin, Michigan mini power
    houses. Ohio frozen tundra schools. Since
    their schools are small, so too their salaries.
    Then send them Guy Hagi’s “Best
    Weather on the Planet” weather reports.

  9. UH4eva December 18, 2017 7:44 am

    We need new blood and improvement non both sides of the ball. We need coaches that are loyal to Yolo and the players and not just thinking of themselves chasing the money. I hate when UH gives a coach a chance then they use us as a stepping stone. Worse example Zach Hill but more just like him. In the case of Legi good luck to you but you were not cutting it and get rewarded for poor performance.

    We should pay our coaches better to help make our program more competitive.

    Go Warriors

  10. UH4eva December 18, 2017 7:49 am

    There must be some negative history between Rolo and Miano. If not why would he not reach out to Rich? He bleeds green and certainly has more coaching experience than those on the team. If that is true, both mend the fences and UH is to benefit.

  11. Maddog50 December 18, 2017 8:29 am

    Could not agree more with those who are sickened by UH pay scale for FB. All the continuing studies and reports regarding the economical pluses derived from a good program. No visionaries or leaders in sight just piggies at the trough playing politics and protecting what they have and seeking even more at the expense of others-

  12. Na Alii Pride December 18, 2017 8:42 am

    I agree with #8 Ipu, would be good if we could mine those FCS or Div. II schools for a good coordinator. We haven’t had much luck going that route (Zak Hill, Brian Smith, Stuz, Don Bailey), but I think those are guys where UH would be a step up and they run some crazy exciting offenses at those schools. I was really looking forward to Zak Hill coming in. I hope there’s another guy like him out there.

  13. Old Diver December 18, 2017 8:44 am

    There are thousands of unemployed coaches who want to coach here. Need a network to find the right fit.

  14. Na Alii Pride December 18, 2017 8:47 am

    I also agree with #7 burro sabio in that we need to MOVE ON! All you guys who keep saying we need the Lee brothers and Miano, why? They were here once. Miano never got the DC position under JJ for a reason. Cal and Ron Lee were coordinators then demoted. Every time a job comes open, people throw out names that they’ve heard of. The exciting part is that Rolo probably knows people that we’ve never heard of. No one ever heard of Dave Aranda before Mack found him.

  15. Old Diver December 18, 2017 8:53 am

    There are more coaches who know how to teach fundamentals than there are positions available. Few of them understand the challenges of recruiting for Hawaii.

  16. Coach DB December 18, 2017 9:00 am

    UH must be willing to FINANCE TO THE EXPECTATION!!!

  17. Manoa Mist December 18, 2017 10:01 am

    10. UH4eva: I don’t think Miano will ever coach at UH again. Same with Mack. We gotta look to the future not the past.

  18. Sangamon Keith December 18, 2017 10:08 am

    #9 Assistant coaches are always viewing their jobs as stepping stones. Only a few programs (all in the past) kept assistance coaches for long periods.

  19. islandman December 18, 2017 10:34 am

    We keep complaining about the low salary pool for UH coaches and the UH administration and state not raising the salaries. It starts with the fans contributing big bucks but we are not doing it due to various causes.
    Winning teams helps bring in more dollars but to have winning teams you need the dollars. You need the egg before the chickens.

  20. clyde December 18, 2017 11:14 am

    Can’t blame Legi and Kefense for furthering their careers, but with the early signing period starting Thursday, the timing is bad. Possibility of poaching recruits?

  21. Old School Dave December 18, 2017 11:19 am

    Since there’s a lot of speculation, Matt Entz the DC at FCS powerhouse North Dakota State looks impressive. They are the FCS leader in overall defense. From Fargo to Honolulu? Hmmm…….

  22. Old School Dave December 18, 2017 11:31 am

    Coach Suiaunoa’s reputation as a D-Line coach and also his connections to American Samoa are key qualities that’ll benefit OSU. With UO’s Joe Salavea deciding to remain in Eugene, OSU needs to be also be competitive in recruiting down in Samoa. I guess that Chad Kauhaahaa is not being retained by Jonathan Smith at OSU.

  23. Ws December 18, 2017 11:54 am

    Legi was in over his head!

  24. H-Man December 18, 2017 12:00 pm

    No need to worry about other schools poaching. Most of the other MWC schools have recruited better players, at least by 247sports. Boise St’s recruit list to date looks like a P5 recruit list with one 4* and 15-3* rated players. Nevada, Fresno St, Colorado St, UNLV have upped their recruiting with a majority of 3* players. Hawaii has two 3* players, Jeremy Moussa and Tristan Nichols. Well maybe Nichols might reconsider since he is a highly rated DT. Legi may try to take him along with him.

  25. clyde December 18, 2017 12:24 pm

    H-Man: I was referring specifically to poaching by OSU, seeing as how Legi and Kefense — and this is just an assumption — were involved in in-person recruiting for Hawaii through last week. Oh, well. It is what it is.

  26. Jr December 18, 2017 12:51 pm

    Wonder why rolo has not said any thing yet must be something’s going on .he has not been posting or anything .

  27. islandman December 18, 2017 1:00 pm

    Per Dave’s blog, noted on another board, on whether Cav might come to Hawaii:
    “I’m not talking about all that stuff, any of that business stuff,” Cavanaugh said. “But I love all of you. Mele Kalikimaka.”

  28. Capt Ron December 18, 2017 1:16 pm

    I find it interesting how the changing direction of the wind changes perceptions and opinions. After year one Coach Rolo was the new saviour, and that was understandable after the results he and the team produced. After year 2 all of that was forgotten by many and he, his coaches, and the players were then out of favor with many. Talk was common about the changes needed in the coaches. Now, 2 were hired away by a big 5 conference school, and suddenly they “will be missed” by some of the same who said they need to go.

    I am not a football expert, nor a financial contributor, but I remember how Rolo excited the entire state and the players and that showed the first season. With injuries and all, the second season didn’t turn out as hoped or expected. But Rolo is still Rolo, and I back him completely and look forward to the future of UH football.

    And maybe a little wisdom from a little bunny is appropriate – “If you can’t say somethin nice, don’t say nothin at all” – Thumper. If you have positive thoughts about the Warriors, please post them – we have an abundance of posters taking the other view.

    Mele Kalikimaka and Go Warriors.

  29. kakaako kid December 18, 2017 2:29 pm

    Head coach should make $3M per year.
    Coordinators should make $750K per year.
    All other assistants should make at least $150K per year.
    What? Higher ticket prices? Higher taxes? Higher tuition?
    Current pay scale is good.

  30. cappie the dog December 18, 2017 2:39 pm

    Total Defense leaders in FCS:

    1. North Dakota State 2. Jacksonville State 3. James Madison 4. North Carolina A & T 5. McNeese State 6. UT-Martin 7. Tennessee State 8. South Carolina State 9. Albany 10. Saint Francis(PA)

    Coldest outpost? Probably Albany.

    The defensive coordinator is Bernard Clark.

    Find out if he has an aversion towards snow.

  31. ai-eee-soos December 18, 2017 2:58 pm

    the connection …

    Jonathan Smith, who was hired as head football coach at Oregon State last month,

    coached with Suiaunoa at the University of Montana during the 2011 season.

    note: Hynson joined the Grizzlies coaching staff shortly after Smith departed for Boise State.

  32. Maddog50 December 18, 2017 4:29 pm

    Anybody who thinks current coaches salaries are fine the way they are ought to do some homework on teaching and admin salaries as they relate to schools like UH. The disparity is ridiculous. That’s the difference between leaders visionaries etc

  33. Arcumfortis December 18, 2017 4:36 pm

    I understand the reasons the State and University are reluctant to spend money on football when we have big problems that need attention in the community and the University is badly in need of repairs and is strapped for cash.

    But I don’t think we can reasonably expect a consistently good product on the football field without having a better budget and better facilities. So to me there are three choices:

    1) settle for mediocrity with occasional flashes of possibility (the status quo).

    2) abandon football because it cannot generate the needed revenue to support the athletic Dept (knowing this will impact the whole athletic Dept).

    3) Invest more in the football program with the hope that the upfront investment results in better performance and more community interest that generates suffcient revenues

  34. kapakahi December 18, 2017 4:42 pm

    Hopefully former Radford HS Ram and UH DL Joe Seumalo considers applying for the DL assistant coach position…….since he’s been on coaching on the mainland awhile now……..with plenty of recruiting ties here and on the West Coast.

    I would hope that he would want to come to UH (as his alma mater) more so than stay at San Jose State.

  35. clyde December 18, 2017 4:56 pm

    FWIW: Kefense and Legi already listed on the OSU coaching web site, including their photos wearing OSU shirts. That didn’t take long ….

  36. Old School Dave December 18, 2017 5:10 pm

    DC vacancy already online at the UH job site (to satisfy State laws).

    Coaches Suiaunoa”s and Hynson’s hire is already on the OSU site. A lot of this is based on connections and past relationships, in this case both of them once having coached at Montana, same with the new OSU head coach Jonathan Smith.

    Looks like former DC Kevin Clune will not be retained, along with D-line/LBs coach Chad Kauhaahaa. Both may be headed back to the staffs at Utah or USU.

  37. Akamai Okole December 18, 2017 5:14 pm

    Great Afternoon All!

    FYI, young, upcoming coaches with proven success at lower collegiate divisions are already on staff.

    And Rolo has stated that he has an interest in those with ties to the community.

  38. jr December 18, 2017 5:21 pm

    I would bring back Joe Seumalu he is a good coach and a good person went to Radford with him. good recruiter also .always got guys from hawaii to go to where he recruited.

  39. What? December 18, 2017 5:25 pm

    33, I think the state, school and the fan base outside the hardcore life long fans have already answered that questions.

    With the city and their mess with the rail and the state bailing out the city, I can see why a lot of people are hesitant on spending money. Uh football is a great but it is not a high priority for many.

    A lot of people live paycheck to paycheck. This is a zero sum solution. If more money is placed into football, then that money has to come from somewhere. The state still has to balance the budget.

    Those that can give, give and those that don’t, don’t. Without that one donor with deep pockets, UH will be having to do money making projects similar to selling portuguese sausage and sweet bread. There are not enough people who care to give above and beyond to support football.

    UH will win again. They just won’t win on a consistent basis. I think I read someone on this blog say, it will get worse before it gets better.

    Option 1) is the state and schools choice.

  40. What? December 18, 2017 6:04 pm

    All season long the message was the defense is horrible and the DC must go. He heard the message and found himself a P5 coaching job with better pay and a better chance for advancement. Higher pay, better facilities and probably cheaper cost of living? A no brainer move for him. Best wishes to Legi Suiaunoa.

  41. Maddog50 December 18, 2017 6:27 pm

    As I’ve stated numerous times-a lousy 600k puts us right in the mix in our conference as far as salary goes. So a 1.1 billion dollar budget over 10 campuses and three 4 year degree schools and we don’t have money? Sure-Didn’t Jay Shidler donate a ton to the business school?

  42. islandman December 18, 2017 6:38 pm

    Wichita St had a football team from 1897 to 1986, discontinued because it lost money. It could happen here.
    Cal St Fullerton had one from 1970 to 1992.
    LBSU had football from 1955 to 1991. UH used to play those two schools. Both discontinued the sport due to financial problems.
    However, their athletic programs seem to be okay, for now, with smaller budgets.

  43. What? December 18, 2017 7:05 pm

    To the community colleges,

    Sorry, we need to take some your money and use it for football. Also, to the business school, we need some of your money also so we can fund the football program.

    Now, if UH can hire someone to convince the community colleges and the business school to hand over some of their money to the football program so that they can start winning again that would be super.

    Job opening: UH fundraiser/administration in charge of athletic’s

    Job description: convince the community colleges and the business school to make sacrifices and give up their money to support the football program. And , the person in position must also convince the public that football takes priority over the culinary program at KCC or the automotive program at HCC or some other program within the community college system.

    That’s a great idea! Let’s throw everything out the window and concentrate on football. Who cares if a student can’t graduate because there are not enough classes to support student demand. UH Football is king. It should take priority over everything else.

    How about it Governor Ige, are you okay with that idea?


  44. Akamai Okole December 18, 2017 7:09 pm

    Kansas and California get plenny alternatives for watch football.

    Pretty EZ to get the medical ‘juana license, eh?

  45. What? December 18, 2017 7:25 pm

    Sorry for that rant. But, some on this blog seem to believe football is the end all and be all. UH football will win. They just won’t win every year.

    I like watching UH football. But, I am not willing to take away funds from other programs to support football. If the diehard fans cannot understand that. Too bad. Most of the people in Hawaii feel the same way. Football is what you do on Saturday’s if there is nothing to do. It’s entertainment. That’s it!

    So we can all keep predicting 56-14 scores in favor of UH if that makes some feel better about the situation. But, Uh football is an average team at best. If you don’t like it, check the win loss column for UH football for the last 10 + years.

  46. Sangamon Keith December 18, 2017 8:03 pm

    Hopefully we consider approaching Chad Kauhaahaa. He knows Hawaii, Samoa and PAC-12 country. Only made $290K at Oregon State last year … time to get innovative to bring in a great coach and recruiter.

  47. Not Sean December 18, 2017 8:16 pm

    Defense was pathetic, wide receivers showed no improvement all season. I’m glad Oregon State is pathetic also otherwise they’d never had made the hires.

  48. Not Sean December 18, 2017 8:31 pm

    On the other hand, I applaud their honesty to those players they were recruiting to Hawaii. But if any of them commit to OSU instead…that’s pilau.

  49. HawaiiMongoose December 18, 2017 9:32 pm

    The State is not broke. It had an $894 million surplus at the end of June when the 2016-17 fiscal year ended. The issue is priorities.

    Back in the 1970s and 1980s the university was considered hugely important to the State’s future and the Legislature was pumping something like 20% of annual General Fund revenues into the UH system. After that the university’s share began to decline. By fiscal year 2009 — the last year of the 2007-2009 national recession — the university’s General Fund appropriation was down to 10.9% of General Fund revenues.

    The local economy subsequently improved and General Fund revenues rebounded, but NONE of the revenue increase went to UH, and so the share of General Fund revenues appropriated to the university system continued to decline. In fiscal year 2013 it bottomed out at 7.0% and by fiscal year 2017 it had only increased to 7.4%, which is still woeful by historical standards.

    If the Legislature had pushed that 2017 percentage up to 9% — still below what UH was getting during the worst recession since the 1930s – last year’s appropriation to the university system would have been $100 million higher ($582 million versus $471 million) and we wouldn’t be talking about UH being too poor to match football budgets with other public universities in the MWC.

    But instead the surplus is being spent on what really matters to the Legislature and the Governor — raises, pensions and health care benefits the State has agreed to paid its unionized public workers and retirees, which only grow and grow and grow. It seems that as General Fund revenues increase that is where nearly all of the additional money ends up, while the university is told to cover its rising costs (including raises for its unionized workers) with tuition increases.

  50. Kev-1 December 18, 2017 10:18 pm

    This is why you bring in someone like Cal Lee as DC. You know he wouldn’t jump ship.

  51. Akamai Okole December 18, 2017 10:36 pm

    I no make predictions. I just put what I like see…again.

    After that, can move to the next one.

    59 – 28

  52. Akamai Okole December 18, 2017 10:37 pm

    He not going jump.

    Manoa already get soda machines!

  53. Akamai Okole December 18, 2017 10:39 pm

    So what you saying is once the bubble burst on unfunded liabilities we can all get back to winning football again?

  54. H-Man December 18, 2017 11:25 pm

    At the current trend, UH football will be gone in 10 years. It will fade into history, then in 15-20 years, people will ask, “Why doesn’t the University of Hawaii have a football team?” For me, I will probably be dead. But, I will take the memories of the great, exciting Dick Tomey, Bob Wagner and June Jones led teams with me. It’s the years that we fans were proud of the Hawaii Rainbows that strapped it up against the best and even winning some in front of 40K+ rocking fans at Aloha Stadium (soon to be the site of a shopping mall). Along with the disappearance of Aloha Stadium will be the sands of Waikiki, a future concrete promenade without a sandy beach. Maybe Sunset Beach too.

  55. roygbivs December 19, 2017 2:16 am

    a bone to gnaw ….
    Miano? Think he’d love to coach again??

    Anyone who doesn’t wanna be hear, go. GO! Good riddance.

    This canoe only wants coaches, players that believe in Hawaii football.
    Go gettum coach Rolo!!!

  56. Maddog50 December 19, 2017 3:51 am

    Stupid me I thought I was on the football “fan” blog. Really sorry I passionately support the Warrior Football program. Mongoose nice job on your homework. Then again, no Im not sorry at all for being supportive of the football program-

  57. boolakanaka December 19, 2017 5:23 am

    A couple of comments and sideboards: first, our football program HAS to be profitable and I don’t believe it is a drain on the state coffers—why? The requirements of title IX make it necessary that they financially support about 45% of women’s programs. That is to say, you lose football, as it has a direct nexus to the number of scholarships you fund on the other side of the ledger, you basically decimate the entire program.

    Two, and I’m being perfectly candid here, Rolo has a conduct and behavior problem with the team. It is in large part why Naeole left the program. Now, some of that has to do with the style and tone on how you deal with young men who naturally push the boundaries of rules—believe me, I’ve been there, and I played with a lot of guys, who were very close to serving jail time. But, I know for fact, Naeole was not satisfied with how discipline or the lack thereof, was being dispensed.

    I mention this, as the next coach and/coaches have to play a big part of this and an institutional culture has to be both articulated and then implemented and enforced.

  58. cappie the dog December 19, 2017 6:30 am

    The radical right(e.g. libertarians) is the reason why the community colleges don’t have any money

    “…the single most powerful and least understood threat to democracy today: the attempt by the billionaire-backed radical right to undo democratic governance.”

    -Nancy McLean-

  59. Stephen Tsai December 19, 2017 6:56 am

    New post:

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