Yes you can go home, Poly Hall, flag football

I get a lot of resistance from some corners when I say guys who are from here should be given preference for coaching and other jobs. The reaction is often something like, “You need to get the best person for the job.”

Well, I agree with that. The thing is, the best person for the job is often someone who knows what to expect here in Hawaii, who has a support network here, who’s heart is truly in it because he is from here. Those things often make the difference between success and failure for not just coaches, but folks from all walks of life here. It may seem provincial and even unfair, but it’s a reality and part of the equation. Not that an “outsider” can’t adapt, fit in and do great things here: The odds are just better for someone who knows the place … and doesn’t hurt if you know the boss, too.

That’s why many were stunned when Nick Rolovich didn’t select Ashley Lelie or Craig Stutzmann — two coaches who were also his teammates at UH — as receivers coach. But now that offensive coordinator Zak Hill is gone to Boise State, Rolovich has tabbed Stutzmann to be passing game coordinator, which sounds sort of like offensive coordinator apprentice.

Anyway, it’s a good move that just came a month or two later than expected. Also, with all that being said, the best coaching staffs have people with a variety of backgrounds from different places, as long as everyone is receptive to the ideas of the others. It also helps in recruiting.

And, as things work out, Hill and Stutzmann and their young families are now both closer to were they are from.


The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame held its third annual banquet Friday, and once again drew a huge crowd, bigger than the year before. This time it was nearly 800 people to celebrate the induction of Charlie Ane, Rockne Freitas, Troy Polamalu, Vai Sikahema and Al Lolotai.

A couple of late table-buyers upped the attendance. Shane Victorino is of course known for baseball, but when he heard Ane, who was his high school football coach was going to be enshrined, he dropped everything and quickly gathered some friends and attended. Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks also purchased a table. He’s originally from Texas, but lives in Hawaii Kai with his wife Pele. She’s from Hawaii, but met Bennett in high school in Houston; her family had moved there to work with a Polynesian dance group.

Marcus Mariota attracted a steady crowd of well-wishers and photo-seekers. Dick Tomey won the Founder’s Award. Kale Ane and Tiloi Lolotai spoke on behalf of their deceased fathers. Polamalu was at his thoughtful zen-like best in his speech.


There’s a media flag football game at 5 p.m. today at the Pro Bowl event at Queen’s Beach. I’ve been asked to play and agreed. My hope is that I now move too slow to hurt myself. I don’t know if I’ll be drafted by Team (Rich) Miano or Team (Leonard) Peters … but I’m pretty sure I’ve got a good shot at being Mr. Irrelevant.


  1. Ipu Man January 31, 2016 6:57 am

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” is right here.
    Stay home boys…

  2. H-Man January 31, 2016 9:23 am

    Can’t wait for the start of football season to see what all these former UH players, now coaches, will be able to accomplish, esp on offense. Lempa will have to hold the fort until the offense rounds into form. Hoping for a fun season. And congrats to the new Poly Hall of Fame inductees.

  3. H-Man February 1, 2016 6:05 pm

    Recent football commits have been awesome. Go Rolo and staff. Build the program!!!

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