Warrior Beat: Hawaii football graduate assistant impressed

Rafael Aguilar joined the UH coaching staff as a graduate assistant early in spring training. / Photo by Stephen Tsai

It’s UH’s final-exam week, but Rafael Aguilar already has earned high marks for his football work this spring.

Aguilar was hired as a graduate assistant to replace Numi Lolohea, who joined Tennessee as a GA.

“We were worried about the timing of losing Numi, but we were really blessed to get Rafael,” defensive coordinator Corey Batoon said.

Aguilar coached on both sides of the line at American River College. In 2018, he was ARC’s assistant offensive line coach/offensive and special teams quality control, and video coordinator. He was an assistant linebackers coach the previous year.

Aguilar now assists UH defensive line coach Ricky Logo.

“I like that he’s been a position coach already,” Batoon said. “He’s had his own room. He’s already done a nice job … balancing knowing what a coach will need and being proactive. He’s a real attention-to-detail guy, a really hard worker. In a short period of time, he’s really been able to earn the trust and respect of the kids on the defensive side of the ball.”

With his background on offense — he was an offensive lineman as a player — Aguilar is helpful in defensive meetings. “It always helps having offensive coaches in your room so they can give you different perspective on things,” Batoon said.

Batoon said Aguilar blends well with the staff.

“He’s under a great guy in Rick,” Batoon said. “Rick will be able to teach him a lot. He’s always asking questions and absorbing what’s going on. I think he’s picked up some things pretty quickly.”


  1. H-Man May 7, 2019 9:48 am

    I like that Rafael played center (had to look it up) and is able to coach up the inside D-linemen based on his experience. The team gets better and better.

  2. Stephen Tsai May 7, 2019 9:56 am

    I like the unique thinking, too.

  3. haka May 7, 2019 11:17 am

    It is so nice to finally having some coaching stability and quality. Enough can’t be said about what that does for a program. Of course success will change that some as offers will be made to the coaches, but for now, the continuity is a blessing and we have to enjoy it while we got it. Go Warriors!

  4. Stephen Tsai May 7, 2019 11:25 am

    Same coaches, same offense, same defense.

  5. haka May 7, 2019 12:31 pm

    ST, YES!
    It’s been a long while since we have been able to say that. The real plus for me is that I really like these coaches. It’s a good mix of experience and youth. The fact that they were all ready to roll into another season together tells me that they get along, are enjoying the ride and are excited to what can be done.

  6. Stephen Tsai May 7, 2019 2:02 pm

    It’s a nice blend of youth and experience.
    When Mark Banker is the “backup” DC, that’s a staff with depth.

  7. Andrew May 7, 2019 2:47 pm


    If the team has another improved winning season this year, how much longer do you see this staff remaining? particularly the defensive coaches. Can imagine other schools will begin the poaching process.

  8. Aaron May 7, 2019 3:08 pm

    It really depends on the coaches and how they feel about coaching here. We won a lot during the June Jones era, but the staff remained mostly intact because they wanted to be here.

  9. amela May 7, 2019 7:54 pm

    Why worry about losing coaches, let’s win first then we can talk about trying to keep them here. Money, money, money, we need money.

  10. sackkabooya May 7, 2019 9:47 pm

    #9 amela

    Search up “Flutie Effect” on Wikipedia. There will be endless possibilities for making money by the Athletic Department (Student Athletic Fees?) soon in all kinds of different ways. I hope a plan is in progress. I heard enrollment has already seen an increase (last semester). Everything is possible now. Seize the opportunity.

  11. PONO May 8, 2019 5:26 am

    Now we need to step up and pay the assistants so they don’t leave.

  12. cappie the dog May 8, 2019 7:38 am

    One year.

  13. Stephen Tsai May 8, 2019 11:53 am

    New post: https://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=49669

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