Elisara shows persistence

Dustin Elisara was on track to be the Warriors’ starting fullback — a UH position not employed since the 1998 season — when he suffered a horrific knee injury during a 2012 scrimmage on Maui.

It was a frustrating setback for Elisara, a 2010 Kapolei High graduate who redshirted his first year at UH and was on the scout team in 2011.

Elisara underwent intensive physical therapy during the 2012 season, but just couldn’t return to the health level needed to play collegiate football. Last year, he accepted a medical retirement, which meant he remained on scholarship but was not allowed to play football again, at least not for UH.

Elisara is now a husband, father and, a week from today, will be a UH graduate.


  1. SteveM December 13, 2014 9:13 am

    Good morning everyone!

    Congrats to Dustin Elisara on getting his degree!
    Good to hear he was kept on scholarship even when his playing days are medically over. Tells a lot about the integrity of the program.

  2. tom December 13, 2014 9:21 am


    And to you too SteveM.
    (Working slowly on your cruise request!)

  3. Old School Dave December 13, 2014 9:24 am

    Hats off to Dustin Elisara for earning his degree and to the program for allowing him to do so after his injury. Get that degree and move on to bigger things with your life.

  4. azwarrior22 December 13, 2014 9:31 am

    If JJ became AD, he would have Chow’s ears and if it came down to it, he could make like Ault and be AD and HC.

  5. Pomai December 13, 2014 9:40 am

    Lets clear the air…… As much as I would like to see JJ come on board as the new AD it will never happen, why you ask, well because the same problems that made him leave are still here they have not changed. The one and only way he would take the job is that if did not report to upper campus and given complete freedom to run the Athletic Department as he wanted, that is as long as he did not violate any NCAA rules or break the law. And you all know that will never happen.

  6. Ipu Man December 13, 2014 9:42 am

    Congratulations to Dustin.
    Go Bows!
    I think the Aloha Bowl (?) should be independent and
    in the future open it up to teams from all over the mainland
    (and Hawaii). Like Notre Dame, TCU, Michigan, et al. 🙂

  7. UHfan808 December 13, 2014 9:46 am


  8. azwarrior22 December 13, 2014 9:47 am

    When it comes down to it, UH needs to hire an AD pronto and then let the new AD evaluate if they want to keep Chow.

  9. Andrew December 13, 2014 9:51 am


    Regardless of who they get at AD, Chow will coach the 2015 season. We all know how long UH takes to do the hiring process. Most likely they are not going to get someone until the deadline that they put forth. It would be foolish of the new AD to let Chow go at that point so close to the start of the season. It actually would be better for the team if he just coached out the season and if a change is still necessary then make out at the end of next season. Making a coaching change that close to the season would just create more turmoil.

  10. UHfan808 December 13, 2014 9:54 am


    Somehow I just knew that JJ news would get your goat


  11. UHfan808 December 13, 2014 9:56 am

    Mr. Dustin Elisara – You are a Warrior for life. Congratulations on your hard work and good luck in your future endeavors!

  12. clyde December 13, 2014 10:04 am

    Stephen could probably put the kibosh on the JJ-for-AD speculation, though Pomai already put it in perspective. That being said, it was interesting to see JJ and Chow amicably chatting at the Pacific Club yesterday. Oh, to be a fly on the wall …

  13. Andrew December 13, 2014 10:08 am


    Yeah I agree. I think June Jones would butt heads with upper campus too much anyway.

  14. Stephen Tsai December 13, 2014 10:15 am

    There were a lot of Instagram moments yesterday. Like Scott Wong winning an autographed Dave Shoji shirt.

  15. gigi-hawaii December 13, 2014 10:17 am

    Congrats to Dustin. I am glad he was kept on scholarship.

    As for the JJ rumors, I am not sure he would be the best guy for the AD position.

  16. SteveM December 13, 2014 10:18 am

    Why is there an impression that upper admin interferes in the A.D.? Even someone as high up the food chain as the Athletic Director does not operate in a vacuum. He has a boss. The same is true in any business or gathering of more than 2 people. 🙂

    Now, when the A.D. is removed, there is a higher authority at work. When the Department $14 million (?) debt is forgiven there is a higher authority at work. Not since President Greenwood has there been any micromanaging in the AD affairs… and besides her vendetta against J.D.. maybe she didn’t micromanage. I dunno. Does anyone have any evidence of interference with Ben Jay?

  17. Shoko December 13, 2014 10:21 am

    I wonder what kind of attendance would be generated if the Army-Navy game was held in Aloha Stadium. Something to consider if they Hawaii Bowl went belly-up.

  18. Z December 13, 2014 10:25 am

    Way to go Dustin.

    Go Army!

  19. Shoko December 13, 2014 10:33 am

    Remember that kid Shaun Kagawa who went to Annapolis then transferred to SMU and was released by JJ? Apparently, he’s at Georgia Tech – now sitting out due to transfer rules.

  20. Shoko December 13, 2014 10:36 am

    Correction: Shaun Kagawa initially went to West Point, not Annapolis.

  21. tom December 13, 2014 10:41 am

    #17 SHOKO:

    It would be great – The Arizona and Missouri in the background – and the history of the military in WWII. The last battle in Philadelphia was around 1778 or 1779.

    But it will never happen. Too much tradition involved and Philadelphia is closer to the Academies – and is bigger too!

  22. Old School Dave December 13, 2014 10:45 am

    Good to see CBS during the Army – Navy game talk about the Hawaii connection (with photos) between Ken Niumatalolo and Army coach Jeff Monken (former UH GA). Both later were on Paul Johnson’s Navy staff back in 2007.

  23. Shoko December 13, 2014 10:47 am

    21. Well, maybe not change the location permanently but schedule it once in a blue moon. I think it might fill the stadium to the brim unlike previous Hawaii Bowl attendance numbers. Pretty sure there’s at least 50,000 military personnel stationed in Hawaii – not to mention family members and visitors from all over.

  24. islandman December 13, 2014 11:08 am

    Do you ever see a chance of UH football losing money ? If so, then that’s when it could be abolished . It did happen in 1961 .

  25. NorthShoreFan December 13, 2014 11:26 am

    Guud Morning Tsaikos…bootiful day.

    BJ made his feelings known. Take it for what it is. No need to try and classify it as “excuses” or what ever. If the shoe fits, wear it. Everyone knows we have systemic problems at UH. Not just the athletic department but all over. We could just keep change personnel and have the same old problems fester and persist. Till the powers that be have enough will to let the problem solvers implement their “fixes’, we’ll just be burning a lot of rubber in the same spot and sooner or later the tire will pop. Then we’ll be able to start over….imho
    Seems to me the only thing that gets better each year is our student athletes who can teach us some things about the will to get better and never give up.

  26. Old Diver December 13, 2014 12:04 pm

    IMO if a new AD is selected shortly Norm Chow is out. No AD worth his salt will accept the challenge of righting the ship but be forced to accept a football coach which has seen a $3 million drop in revenues a year.

  27. AdmrVT December 13, 2014 12:16 pm

    #26. Not if the new AD is told by his “leaders” that Chow stays. ID who has the real reins of power. It does not reside in the AD. Unfortunately, autonomy is a “one trick pony.”

    And, yes, JJ would not be selected by the Pres., Chancellor and BOR as he will call a spade a spade. He knows where the skeletons are that weren’t put to bed and still makes UH a sham.

  28. Old Diver December 13, 2014 12:30 pm


    Then expect an AD not worth his salt.

  29. Old Diver December 13, 2014 12:33 pm

    I believe the AD who is able to raise the buyout money will have to come from the local rank of candidates.

  30. Chow Von Appen December 13, 2014 12:51 pm

    #24 wasn’t UH football losing money throughout most of the june jones years too? I guess we should’ve abolished it back then too.

  31. bowwar December 13, 2014 1:53 pm

    Good to hear that Dustin will get his degree…Highly touted out of high school, he was a prototype fullback destined to excel. Unfortunately, injuries took its toll, so he is now able to move on to the next phase of his life…Definitely, a Warrior forever!

  32. beans December 13, 2014 1:56 pm

    It is settled. Let Chow coach and let us support our coach for the betterment of the team. Stop the “what ifs”. CHOW IS THE COACH FOR 2015. GO BOWS GO!

  33. tommui December 13, 2014 2:19 pm

    NorthShoreFan #25

    I said somewhere that in a gathering, you should not say “you have an ugly wife” even if it is true.

    On the other hand, truth is a complete defense!

    We can say tsk-tsk . But no soap in the dish, light bulbs not replaced. no money from the legislature, apparently people upstairs and downtown still want to exercise power without knowledge … maybe you shouldn’t say it out loud but the excuses may be justified.

  34. islandman December 13, 2014 2:32 pm

    30. –Cv0nA, no I don’t think football was losing money in those years. Only the whole department in some of those years, including all of the sports taken together .

  35. Warrior Dave December 13, 2014 3:08 pm

    It’s my understanding that UH football has ALWAYS made money. But not necessarily enough to cover all other sports. Some of you need to please get it right.

  36. Rodney December 13, 2014 3:16 pm

    I would perfer New AD be a football guy
    like a JJ. What can’t Chow be AD/HC football
    till we find a AD.Does anyone think he could be
    a competent AD?

  37. Chow Von Appen December 13, 2014 3:19 pm

    #32: uh… no.

  38. Chow Von Appen December 13, 2014 3:20 pm

    #36: rodney, if chow is as good of an AD as he is a football coach, then we’ll see the athletic department shutting its doors in three years or less.

  39. Nanakuli December 13, 2014 3:31 pm

    Every Samoan in the valley now claims Mariota is their cousin.

  40. 3-Prong December 13, 2014 3:43 pm

    ItsGot To Be MM8! Call His Name! Call His Name!

  41. Rodney December 13, 2014 3:56 pm

    #38 Lol!!!! I expected that!
    But let’s say Uh hires Chow
    before Ben Jay was hired. Are
    you expressing the same thoughts!
    Think about it? Chow a football guy,
    respected, experienced and a local

  42. 3-Prong December 13, 2014 3:59 pm


  43. al December 13, 2014 4:08 pm

    A little birdie did chirp that jj would like to coach again. That is his preference…somewhere.

  44. Old School Dave December 13, 2014 4:25 pm

    Portland State is looking for a head coach. Didn’t Jerry Glanville also coach at PSU?

  45. lawaia December 13, 2014 4:32 pm

    #32 beans: I agree with you, people should move on and accept the fact that Coach Chow will be here next year. Also congratulations to Marcus Mariota for winning the Heisman Award. A very heartfelt acceptance speech. Imua Na Koa Anuenue.

  46. islandman December 13, 2014 5:11 pm

    35 . Warrior Dave;— i think around 1961, football was not making money or not enough, so the program was shut down for that year .

  47. oneseason December 13, 2014 6:40 pm

    Congratulations also today to Coach Niumatalolo “the all-time winningest coach at Navy in his seventh season.” … http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2014/12/13/army-navy-football-coach-ken-niumatalolo/20379219/

  48. pollypicador December 13, 2014 7:07 pm

    The money UH receives from it’s share of the leagues bowl money and playoff money is pretty descent. You will see. This is when you wish garret was around. I’m guessing in the neighborhood of 600k. An article I read said to the effect that the non BCS schools will receive around 20 million from the playoff system monies (?). The point is- did Jay factor in this windfall against his projected losses?

  49. seewhy December 13, 2014 7:10 pm

    All you people wanting JJ is the reason why UH cannot progress. Still stuck in the past…

  50. pollypicador December 13, 2014 7:42 pm

    Mariota landed on the moon. He went to the highest heights. He achieved the most coveted award in winning the Heisman.

    This is the first for a former Hawaii school football player.

    This is rarefied. Unprecedented. Where all little ones eyes are looking up at him… and maybe even wanting to follow his path. And where all others… are even prouder.

    Mariota should be the recipient of all the tributes and congratulations, especially from his hometown. Tomorrow’s front page of the SA should be dedicated to MM. Anything less would be a major disappointment.

  51. PHIL December 13, 2014 7:59 pm

    #32 “BEANS”…While I’m one that wanted Norm “ousted” after this year, you are absolutely right. Bottom line is that “we’re stuck w/ him in ’15”. No more excuses though as all the players on the ’15 roster will Norm’s recruits. With Marcus Mariota winning the Heisman today only proves that “IT CAN BE DONE”…I don’t know how but UH needs to get the “behind the scenes” power guys / politics out of the picture and let the AD do his/her job. If these power guys want clout let them donate HUGE $$$$ to the Athletic Dept.

    Just a couple of names here, my opinion, for the AD job…Dick Tomey for Interim AD & candidates would be Sam Moku, Rick Blangiardi (but he makes more than the AD job pays), and Keith Amemiya. We need someone who understands our passion for football as fans and who understands / knows sports. Yes in this day and age you need “financial people” but they should be in the background and not be in the lead.

    Good example is the airline industry. All the CEO’s of the airlines don’t have basic airline background …but… are financial people. Look what they did to that industry.

    GO ‘BOWS…..

  52. PHIL December 13, 2014 8:01 pm

    #44 “OLD SCHOOL DAVE”…Yes Jerry Glanville did coach @ Portland State …BUT…NFL / Not For Long

  53. PHIL December 13, 2014 8:02 pm


  54. tom December 13, 2014 8:23 pm

    Let Amemiya be the CFO and whoever as the CEO of the Athletic Department if you want the UHAD run as a business.

  55. kev-1 December 13, 2014 8:26 pm

    As much respect as I have for Coach Nuimatalolo, today’s Army/Navy game was the prime example of why I would not want to watch that kind of offense at Hawaii again. If people are going to be honest, that was one of the most boring games I have seen all year. That says something, because I have watched every UH game this year.

  56. oneseason December 13, 2014 8:29 pm

    #54 … maybe start by running it like an Athletic Department? 🙂

  57. kev-1 December 13, 2014 8:31 pm

    Please excuse me . . . that should be Niumatalolo.

  58. champ December 13, 2014 9:01 pm

    JJ took a huge pay cut to coach here. That guy loves Hawaii and he plans to live and retire here. What coach would u guys have in mind that would work for peanuts and coach Hawaii and eventually retire here? Who cares about alleged skeletons! We want a winning, exciting football program and I cant figure out who that person can be. Maybe that coach from the east coast “whats his name and school” that completely turned around a sub-div. school but I think he is young and he will move on when schools come calling. On another front, remember that Gary Patterson from TCU hired a new OC and almost got into the final 4? Got any ideas now? Perhaps Nick R, JJ, and a few others that know exciting football and are a players coach. Face it folks we want an exciting football team that can knock off good schools because we are going to have to outcore them period!! We are not going to stuff em with Defense cause its not going to happen period!! Remember that game when Rolo and the team outscored Ben Roethlisberger 51-50? Now that was an exciting game period!! Even if we had lost that game it was exciting and with that kind of O we will win more than lose and I’ll bet my house and lot on that.

  59. AdmrVT December 13, 2014 9:20 pm

    #54. You said IF (you want UHAD run like a business). And, do you really think it can?

  60. tom December 13, 2014 9:44 pm

    AdmrVT #59

    The Upper Campus and some legislature keep insisting that the UHAD should “run like a business”. I’m suggesting that perhaps the UHAD should have one guy go solicit funds, be the PR guy, the legislative contact person- the “rainmaker” = and the other guy administer the Department. In short, split the function.

    Can the UHAD really “run like a business”? You could turn over the Stadium/Stan Sheriff proceeds from parking, food etc to the UHAD; you could turn over the proceeds from all the logo merchandise and stop having the Bookstore in competition with the AD or turn over the profits made on sales of athletic related products and have the legislature take over the funding of legally-related programs under Title IX

    Maybe if the field was made level, the UHAD could run like a business.

    Right now, the UHAD has a noose around its neck, hands are handcuffed and legs are shackled and that’s no way to run a business!

  61. pollypicador December 13, 2014 9:49 pm

    The ideal candidate for AD in my opinion would be one that has a law degree, know the terrain of the athletics, business, finances and management and is well respected by his peers and colleagues. This is hard combination to find.

    As to why I like the quality of law in an AD is because lawyers by their nature champion causes, look for all the angles, think out of the box (and are creative) and speak and squeak to no end. They also know how and when to use the media.
    This is what you want in an AD.

    The AD that has the wits (preferable law), know how and charisma will go a long way, especially one that can coach the coaches in their development and images.

    Does KA fit the bill. If so that’s the one I would choose.

  62. Dean December 13, 2014 10:12 pm

    Great post. Good to hear these type of stories too.

  63. cocobean December 13, 2014 10:19 pm

    polly, are you endorsing Amemiya, a former lawyer?

  64. AdmrVT December 13, 2014 11:37 pm

    #61. Jeff Portnoy? jk 🙂

  65. AdmrVT December 13, 2014 11:45 pm

    #60. Aaah. But the trick is “leveling the playing field” first. Easily said, but not easily done. Those that could have no ‘political will” to do it — lack of inertia, & you can be sure the Upper Campus academia will put in their 2 cents, using autonomy, to redirect funds.

    Notice how the UH “public persona” is now Bley-Vroman, & Lassner has taken a back seat after his appeasing statement that he supports athletics as an adjunct to academic endeavors?

  66. 3-Prong December 14, 2014 8:23 am

    58 Champ: I’m with you on this. College football has evolved into a wide open offensive affair. Sure the biggest and best of the Power5 also have great defenses but we need offense. if NC is the head coach, he need to bring in an OC that can open it up.

  67. Stephen Tsai December 14, 2014 8:33 am

    New post: http://hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=26592

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