Broken promise: Zwahlen headed to Southern Utah

Well, this sucks.

Murray State rescinded a scholarship promise to former UH quarterback Aaron Zwahlen two weeks before the start of the school’s spring semester.

Zwahlen, who had an amicable parting from UH last month, now will join Southern Utah as a walk-on this semester.

Zwahlen was scheduled to visit Murray State yesterday. But the past Monday, Zwahlen said, “the head coach (Mitch Stewart) texted me saying, ‘Hey, we’ll talk tomorrow about it.”

Zwahlen said on Tuesday he received a call from an assistant coach “saying. ‘they don’t have a scholarship for you anymore. The head coach has a good friend whose son is transferring to this school, to Murray State. … We have to take him, and we can’t take you anymore.'”

It was announced this week Shuler Bentley is transferring from Old Dominion, where he was a third-string quarterback this past season, to Murray State.

Zwahlen is admittedly peeved, noting he made changes “based off what the coach said. I trusted the coach.”

Now, Zwahlen said, “I’m going to walk on at Southern Utah (and) spend thousands of dollars for an education I had for free.”

Zwahlen, who was on ESPN top 300 list as a high school senior, signed with UH in February 2013. He joined the Warriors in May 2015 after serving a two-year church mission in Maryland. Zwahlen redshirted in 2015 and played in one game this past season.

In a mutual parting, Zwahlen decided to transfer to a program that fit his drop-back skills. The Warriors’ hybrid offense features elements of spread, four wide, and RPO (run-pass-option). Dru Brown is the No. 1 quarterback. Three promising quarterbacks who redshirted in 2016 — Cole McDonald, Cole Brownholtz and Kyle Gallup — join the competition this semester.

Southern Utah, like Murray State, competes in FCS. Zwahlen will not have to redshirt as part of his transfer. He will have three years to play three seasons.


  1. haka January 6, 2017 11:17 am

    Well that just plain SUCKS! That is just a no class act. Hope Aaron tears it up and lands somewhere on full scholarship.

  2. snowmantoo January 6, 2017 11:19 am

    That sucks! It’s a cruel world out there. Keep a stiff upper chin, Aaron, things have a way of working themselves out. Good luck in the future.

  3. H-Man January 6, 2017 11:35 am

    That sucks !!! Wishing Aaron the best at S. Utah and whatever opportunities come his way.

  4. Arcumfortis January 6, 2017 11:46 am

    A very sad and disheartening story. The coach Murray State coach is not an honorable man. I am not a particularly religious person. But I have noticed that certain principles seem to apply to life: Like “what you sow you reap.” Keep your head high Aaron and hopefully you will land on your feet. As for the coach…..well.

  5. turfwar January 6, 2017 12:00 pm

    Best of luck to Aaron. Take the opportunity and make the best of it. If S. Utah is the place then go out and make your mark. No sense worrying about things you have no control over. Focus on winning the QB job and the rest will take care of itself. If you have to pay for a semester or year that’s nothing compared to what 99% of other students have to deal with. Having paid for two kids of my own I know the costs of schooling on the mainland but at this point I never have to worry about them financially again. They both make more than I ever will. Maybe I should ask them to now send me to school. Is dining and leasure a major?

  6. Andrew January 6, 2017 12:00 pm

    That’s just horrible. I hope his endeavor at Southern Utah turns out to be better for him in the long run. Hopefully he can play and earn himself a scholarship. Also, I hope karma catches up to the coach in one way or another. Just sayin.

  7. Old School Dave January 6, 2017 12:36 pm

    Hard luck for Aaron Zwahlen, but I think that the Big Sky Conference is stronger one and SUU will be a better fit for him compared to going to school in Kentucky. I wish him the best of luck and hopes that he tears it up for SUU.

  8. Duster January 6, 2017 12:39 pm

    There must be an FCS school that can use a QB with his skill set. Hopefully, one has a scholarship available for a QB after NLI day, 2/1. He does have 3 to play 3.

  9. A-House January 6, 2017 12:43 pm

    shoots!!! that really SUCKS for AZ!!!

    I was one who was rooting for him to win the starting QB position with UH.

    may he be blessed with good fortune in his football career and beyond.

    friendship is good, but integrity trumps all [ pun intended!!! ]

  10. oneseason January 6, 2017 1:00 pm

    If the MS head coach didn’t keep his word, it probably isn’t surprising that he didn’t have the nerve to speak with his recruit and pass along the bad news. His assistant coach seems to have much higher integrity. As bad as this is for Mr. Z now, it sounds better than getting to MS and being stuck with a dud of a head coach.

  11. Ohana Hawaii January 6, 2017 1:25 pm

    Hey!. Aaron Zwalhen Good Luck in your new career!. So others that planning to leave the University of Hawaii football program!. I know that there lot more to leave soon!. Because young football players really seriously wants a chance to start playing football not on the sidelines!. Like a case if you were a 4 star player coming out from High School. You were promise to start at your position. And you end up as a back player for your sophomore year after playing your four non- conference games in your first year!. You have won all four games!. When the conference season started you become a back up!. Some kids thinks inside that it really sucks and really don’t want to tell the head coach the honest truth! Why you are deciding to transfer to another university?. It’s really seriously come to it? Kids now wants to know how much their could get paid in the NFL or League!. Because their also have a future ahead of them!. Because Aaron Zwalhen and Riley are one great Quarterbacks!. Because of their size and height too!. I hope that? Head Coach Rolovich can hold on the other the quarterbacks for next four years?. But, I really glad that they’re won’t have Woolsey at quarterback next year!. I hope none others leave the program too!.

  12. bowwar January 6, 2017 1:26 pm

    Maybe Rolo can use his contacts to find ZW a good landing spot, as it actually speaks well for our program to take care of our scholar-athletes. Portland State, Montana, and Montana State, have been safe landing spots for former UH QBs which didn’t fit the change in coaching philosophy, etc. Nick’s brother, Jack, played for Montana when things didn’t work out at UH…

  13. Hank January 6, 2017 1:45 pm

    …no class.

  14. jkjones January 6, 2017 1:54 pm

    2019 is a brutal interconfrence schedule. BUT Rolo will in his fourth year loaded with QBs and talent. That is the profound hope. Scheduling overall is practical and balanced. Much improved.

  15. 808 January 6, 2017 2:14 pm

    It’s definitely a setback for Aaron Z. But, somehow I get the feeling he will be successful at his next school and his chosen profession after college. He could have left when Rolo came in as the new head coach. But, he honored his commitment and stayed with Hawaii. Best wishes to AZ at Southern Utah.

  16. Ipu Man January 6, 2017 2:56 pm

    Aaron, Tom Brady also was once down and out.
    Also Bret Farve.
    Even Coach Rolo.
    Keep your chin up.

  17. Da Punchbowl Kid January 6, 2017 3:09 pm

    Having seen Zwahlen in practice, I know he can play! He’s got too much game, skill and heart for any coach to treat him the way Murray State’s coach is. The man is gonna regret it!l

    Zwahlen is going to be fine – I look forward to following his progress.

    Thank you for being a Warrior, Aaron. We haven’t seen the last of you!

  18. NorthShoreFan January 6, 2017 3:58 pm

    Guud Afternoon Tsaikos…Bootiful Day!

    Feeling bad for AZ. Looks like he got Trumped at MS. Not to worry, although he’ll have to spend some $’s, he got the talent to make it somewhere.
    Kind of highlight the importance of the head coach of any sport at any school. Sometimes it’s important to keep your word whether it’s on paper or given orally. Other coaches will probably use this against the HC at MS. IIRC, we had a situation with a scholarship and prospective player.

    Waiting for more belated Christmas presents on the recruiting front.

  19. Dan-O January 6, 2017 4:22 pm

    Welcome to the world of college recruiting! Unfortunately, it happens, on BOTH sides. We’ve been burned a few times with some last minute “change of heart” decisions at UH by recruits. So it shouldn’t surprise when coaches do the same, even if they are the “adults”, who give their “word”.

    Bottom line…..everyone looking out for themselves. As a parent of a kid going thru this process now, wow….going from full ride to no ride, that really hurts financially. Hopefully Aaron can get some financial/academic aid for first year, then prove himself to the coaching staff for some scholarship money later.

    Good Luck Aaron!

  20. Kapolei Doc January 6, 2017 6:07 pm

    Usually athletes that are recruited for QB slots have a great deal of athletic skills and abilities. That is why I can’t understand when there is little chance of being a starter or number 2 or 3 QB why they aren’t encouraged to move to another position where they maybe able to contribute or even start.

  21. kapakahi January 6, 2017 6:11 pm

    Once highly sought after recruit WR/SB Desean Holmes…..who signed with San Diego State over UH……then quit the team… is at Southern Utah…..

  22. Boolakanaka January 6, 2017 7:52 pm

    Southern Utah is no joke, six players went into NFL camps this summer, with three making squads. John Ursuas older brother played there…..lots of talent coming out of this program.

  23. clyde January 6, 2017 7:59 pm

    And the rest of the story … Holmes caught 9 passes for 90 yards for the season, but had no catches in the final six games, three of which he did not play. Hopefully, AZ can resurrect his career along with Holmes’ at SU.

  24. 808warriorfan January 6, 2017 10:31 pm

    WHAT A GUTLESS HEAD COACH … had an Assistant tell Aaron that the scholarship was no longer available … if the Assistant had any guts at all he would have told the HC to do it himself but then he’d be out of a job which makes him an ASS-KISSER which is just as bad as a GUTLESS HEAD COACH !!!!!

  25. Inyoface January 6, 2017 11:09 pm

    Should add fuel to his fire to earn a chance to get a scholarship back and prove people wrong.

  26. Maddog50 January 7, 2017 5:00 am

    Quiet period ends on 1-11. Looking for some “noise” of the good kind in the next couple of weeks. The additions of last year contributed heavily to getting back to .500. Even though last minute heroics i.e. AF missed field goal and FSU blocked FG contributed to record, should have and could have won UNLV and NM game also the AF game which I attended, Warriors should have won that game by two scores with no OT. If the staff can add contributors to key positions look for every game to be highly competitive and a winning record this year! GoWarriors!!!!

  27. Maddog50 January 7, 2017 6:19 am

    A little fun facts given the biggest recent splash in College Football was PJ Fleck signing a 5 year deal for 18 mil at Minnesota. Fleck joined WMU in 2012 for 392k in 2012……about 200k came from school with the remainder came from outside donors. His first year was 1-11 followed by 2, 8-5 seasons. Fleck had recently signed a 800 K per year for 6 years. After going 13-0 he was offered a deal far exceeding that number. Another little known number, the state of Michigan thru it’s general funds supports WMU athletics with over 25 million annually. The support UH athletics is a smidgeon of that figure. I would venture this that WMU and teams in that conference (MAC) typically play in front of crowds of around 10K or so unless they have extreme runs like this year. NIU and Toledo played at Guaranteed Rate Field where the White Sox Play baseball-attendance 6000 or so. Just FYI

  28. Stephen Tsai January 7, 2017 9:05 am

    New post:

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