Making the grade

The Rainbow Warrior football team seeks to continue a winning streak — in the classroom — when the spring semester opens tomorrow.

This past semester, the Warriors attained a collective 2.9 GPA.

Some of the credit goes to a man that few — if any — of the players ever met.

The Nagatani Academic Center isn’t just another campus building. It is a tribute to a humble man who cherished words and deeds, who was smart enough to help others achieve their academic potential, and generous enough to donate the initial $1 million for an academic center for student-athletes.

Bob Nagatani was born in Chicago, graduated from Harvard and, as the bumper stickers say, lived aloha. He was the archivist for UH football and basketball events, typing out descriptive play-by-play for the statistical sheets. He loved music — especially strongly sung national anthems — and appreciated a good cup of coffee. His passion was education, and he often volunteered as a tutor.

Nagatani died nearly seven years ago. His legacy is the emphasis on the first part of “student-athlete.”


  1. haka January 12, 2014 9:28 am

    Great job Warriors!

  2. azwarrior22 January 12, 2014 9:36 am


  3. ai-eee-soos January 12, 2014 9:45 am

    Thank you, Bob Nagatani.

  4. Kukui High School January 12, 2014 9:46 am


  5. papajoe2 January 12, 2014 9:47 am

    Good morning everybody!
    Top 5.

  6. papajoe2 January 12, 2014 9:54 am

    I knew Bob personally. Was at the dedication lunch/celebration for the Nagatani Center. Went to his funeral. I don’t recall any football coaches at the funeral. Coach Wallace was there and, I forget who, but there were more coaches there from other sports. Great and generous man. His parents passed away and left him money that he didn’t need. He decided to leave it to UH, where I believe he attend a few classes and was a professor there, to build the center, but wanted his hand in the process, knowing how the money can get lost somewhere in the “system.”

  7. tommui January 12, 2014 10:04 am


    Thank you Bob Nagatani!

  8. Stephen Tsai January 12, 2014 10:30 am

    He was a good man.

  9. Da Punchbowl Kid January 12, 2014 10:30 am

    Good Morning Gangeez! 🙂

    Nice to see you all here this fine morning!

    A hearty mahalo to Bob Nagatani, his legacy lives.

  10. Da Punchbowl Kid January 12, 2014 10:31 am

    Top Ten! 🙂 🙂

  11. Warrior Dave January 12, 2014 10:35 am

    Thank you Mr. Nagatani for your contribution and the legacy you leave behind.

  12. NorthShoreFan January 12, 2014 11:18 am

    Guud Morning Tsaikos…bootiful day in Hawaii nei..

    Interesting how Mr. Nagatani chose UH as a recipient of his generosity.
    His efforts are forever embedded in our student athletes. What a legacy….

  13. A-House January 12, 2014 11:21 am

    Nagatani-san, domo arigato gosaimasu for your dedication to UH and education of so many student athletes past, present, and future – truly a legacy to be hold

    papajoe: it saddens me that none of the football coaching staff was present at his funeral – always take, but seldom or never give – guess their priorities are different than many of us

  14. A-House January 12, 2014 11:25 am

    like wafan says: woohoo 49ers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    my original $100 bet still has life and hopefully pays off in February with a championship!

    a life long Niner fan, but not to confident about their pass defense, sometimes soggy offense, and “up-the-middle” plays – still cannot figure out OCs like that call

  15. Stephen Tsai January 12, 2014 12:00 pm

    Oh, to be 49 again.

  16. boolakanaka January 12, 2014 12:32 pm

    Love those kind of numbers!! Mahalo nui e Bob Nagatani. This is a man that certainly understood the intent of living malama pono!

  17. Ipu Man January 12, 2014 12:49 pm

    Thank you to Mr. Nagatani. RIP and hope your inheritors inherit your spirit.

  18. bowwar January 12, 2014 12:54 pm

    Nagatani, a true Warrior!! God bless his soul!

  19. Fei Jai January 12, 2014 1:45 pm

    Chow is da man! He so smart. He one winnah! For sure.

  20. boolakanaka January 12, 2014 2:47 pm

    A couple nice little features on Mr. Nagatani, see: and

  21. Fan January 12, 2014 3:27 pm

    Sometimes contrast is good. We have the opportunity to reflect on the quiet, humble contributions of men like Bob Nagatani. We can feel not only a sense of gratitude but also an admiration for such men and perhaps even an aspiration to emulate them in the ways that our lives and personhood allows. Along side these reflections we have post 19. And the contrasts become clear.

  22. Fei Jai January 12, 2014 3:48 pm

    Chow is quiet and he has humbly contributed to making uh one winnah. What’s wrong with that?

  23. gobows January 12, 2014 4:15 pm

    #22 fei jai

    literally a one winnah…1-11.

  24. gobows January 12, 2014 4:18 pm

    seahawks not selling tix to people from cali

  25. d1shima January 12, 2014 4:35 pm

    Nice legacy. Aloha Mr. Nagatani.

  26. NorthShoreFan January 12, 2014 5:54 pm

    ladies are doing well tonight

  27. papajoe2 January 12, 2014 7:45 pm

    My wife and I were on a cruise from New York up the coast to Quebec. One night for dinner, they sat us on a table of 10, but unfortunately, the other guests either had their meal or already ordered it. One couple stayed with us until we finished eating. When they asked us where we were from, we told them we were from Hawaii. They said that they never been to Hawaii. The gentleman then asked my wife and I if we heard of his classmate of 1 year in elementary school that had worked and taught at UH and did good things there. His name was Bob Nagatani. Wow, what a small world! He then told me that Bob had passed away about a year prior and he couldn’t believe that I not only knew him, but we also attended his funeral. He was our steersman for Waikiki Beach Boys Canoe Club’s novice crew and hung around Waikiki beach with us. He later moved to the Big Island and was an aide to mayor Dante Carpenter. Then returned home to Honolulu where he hung out at the beach again, whenever he had free time. Bob made sure that us “little people,”real beachboys,” were invited to the opening ceremony. I felt uncomfortable because we had to dress up and most of the people there were “well to do.” In his speech he mentioned that it was his dream that UH would have an outrigger canoe paddling team and mentioned everyone of us by name. I was so proud. Alas, his dream never came through, yet. True story.

  28. UHfan808 January 12, 2014 11:31 pm

    Good evening, Tsai-kos and Lurk-ers! 🙂

  29. UHfan808 January 12, 2014 11:39 pm

    Thank you for the little bit of history lesson, Tsai-meister!

    Thank you, Mr. Nagatani, for your gracious contributions toward the success of our university and athletics program.

    ST and or papajoe2:

    What was his area of study?

    Curious to know how what drew him away from East Coast to live here in Hawaii.

  30. wafan January 13, 2014 3:23 am

    Good morning!

  31. wafan January 13, 2014 3:25 am

    Nagatani Center . . .

    And now you some of the back story.


  32. RainbowCliff January 13, 2014 6:36 am

    Just AWESOME Bob Nagatani !

    Thank you for your contribution to our athletes. I know the Nagatani Center has served a number of our student athletes accomplishing their goal to study, research and graduate with a degree from UH. When I was there all we had was the Student Union up campus center, Sinclair and Hamilton Library with pretty much “you are on your own” to get it done.

    When I come back to Hawaii I plan to visit the Nagatani Center and stay a whole day enjoying life on upper campus. Good times going to school and walking all over Manoa while attending class. Love graduating and still have my degree proudly displayed in my house on my office wall.

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