History of rock

There was a time when a school had  antiquated locker rooms with no soap in the showers.

And, so, the community rallied to help the athletic department. People gave in many ways — money, of course, but also materials and volunteer time.

And then a guy — who already had  donated money generously, spent thousands of dollars traveling to support the team,  participated in campus cleanups, and  was involved in a drive to pay for championship bracelets for the softball team — decided to offer his special talent. He built a rock garden at UH.

The rock garden isn’t just about aesthetics or the product of hard work or the donation of time and money. It is a metaphor for selflessness and the aloha spirit. This was not a state-commissioned, over-funded project. In fact, it did not cost UH anything. It was one man who represented many more wanting to help.

There is talk UH will dismantle or displace the rock garden as part of a renovation. While the garden may go, the hope is the garden’s intent will remain.

* * * * *

monicaThe Warriors have completed their administrative staff for football with the recent hiring of Monica Morita as executive assistant.

Morita, a Waiakea High graduate, spent a quarter century at USC, the past 12  as the director of student services. She recently was named the Trojans’ 2014 Staff Member of the Year. She previously worked as assistant to former USC head coaches Paul Hackett and Pete Carroll.

Morita is essentially No. 2 in UH’s football administration, behind head coach Norm Chow, with duties that include serving as an academic liaison. She will assist in the Warriors’ day-to-day administrative  work. She has a doctorate in higher education.

Morita said she returned to Hawaii to be closer to her mother, who lives in Hilo.


  1. whitey June 19, 2014 7:18 am

    good morning tsaikos

  2. wafan June 19, 2014 7:18 am

    First in a long time!

  3. wafan June 19, 2014 7:18 am

    Hey, 2nd is not too shabby.

  4. whitey June 19, 2014 7:24 am

    Col A House, yes, you gave beauty and life to an unappreciated area by creating the rock garden with your heart. Tho the garden is composed of materialistic things, you gave it life. The scenery may change with time, but the area will have eternal life and beauty. Arigato gozai mas.

  5. whitey June 19, 2014 7:25 am

    good morning wafan. you coming home this summer.

  6. whitey June 19, 2014 7:26 am

    porgot, welcome and aloha to Monica Morita. Good to have you back home.

  7. tommui June 19, 2014 7:29 am


    Good day WHITEY.

    Welcome Ms Morita!

    Again – a gift from the heart – thank you, AHOUSE.

  8. jeezy33 June 19, 2014 7:41 am

    This article in the paper was a tease using term “recruit” and “USC”

  9. Stephen Tsai June 19, 2014 8:24 am

    I like rock gardens.

  10. LizKauai (mbp) June 19, 2014 8:35 am


    Please let there be a future garden of Rock if renovations need to be done :mrgreen: !

  11. jimmy the lock June 19, 2014 8:36 am

    Mr. A-House is a rock star.

  12. Ipu Man June 19, 2014 8:37 am

    Glad that UH gave a courtesy call first to you before they destroyed it.
    A waterfall would be nice.

  13. jimmy the lock June 19, 2014 8:39 am

    There’s those who row and those who rock the boat.

  14. mauiwarrior June 19, 2014 8:46 am


    Yup big tease, I thought we was getting a big time recruit to “play”, but I underestimate the importance of good administrative manager for the football program, assuming this hire will help Norm have a better nights rest knowing that Monica Morita is backing up his vision in the office. Hopefully everyone else in the administrative office gets on the same page if they already aren’t………

  15. Stephen Tsai June 19, 2014 8:54 am

    Ipu Man:
    Waterfalls are nice but not for older people. We had a guy who once had a desktop “waterfall.” It made others want to pee every 5 minutes.

  16. iwonderwhytheyhateme June 19, 2014 9:12 am

    ST, you got me on the main article’s title! haha =P.

    Stay Calm and Prepare for Friday.

  17. nutmegger June 19, 2014 9:15 am

    Fun interview with Joey Iosefa:


  18. Boya_jr June 19, 2014 9:44 am

    Thanks A House. You inspire me! I love UH. I found myself there, met my wife in a big lecture hall in BusAD. I live on the Mainland now, but my curiosity about Hawaii always begins with UH and my family history. I hope I can follow your lead. You are part of the Rock of the Rock that I miss the most. Ohana.

  19. Boya_jr June 19, 2014 9:47 am

    Aloha spirit

  20. SteveM June 19, 2014 9:57 am

    Good morning everyone!

    Welcome Monica Morita!

  21. duffer June 19, 2014 10:09 am

    Yay Marissa Chow………tied for 2nd at -2 after 3 holes at the Women’s U.S. Open

  22. SteveM June 19, 2014 10:10 am

    ST wrote:

    The rock garden isn’t just about aesthetics or the product of hard work or the donation of time and money. It is a metaphor for selflessness and the aloha spirit. This isn’t a state-commissioned, over-funded project. In fact, it did not cost UH anything. It was one man who represented many more wanting to help.

    There is talk UH will dismantle or displace the rock garden as part of a renovation. While the garden may go, the hope is the garden’s intent will remain.

    Thanks, ST. You got it.
    This is the “it” I hoped the AD will understand better in the future.

  23. Da Punchbowl Kid June 19, 2014 10:50 am

    Good Morning Gangeez! 😉

    Col. A-house… once, now, and forevermore A ROCK! (P.S. and Mrs. A-house is beautiful, inside and out!)

  24. Da Punchbowl Kid June 19, 2014 10:51 am

    Welcome home, Monica Morita!

  25. clyde June 19, 2014 10:54 am

    Whoa … local gal leading U.S. Open, and it ain’t Michelle Wie.

  26. jalansky June 19, 2014 11:07 am

    For those who haven’t seen this, from this morning’s UH Alumni Association email blast–“Rise of the Wahine”: http://uhalumni.org/s/1220/index.aspx?sid=1220&gid=1&pgid=1656&cid=3137&ecid=3137&crid=0&calpgid=61&calcid=2254.

    It reminds you of how many people have dreamed and worked to bring us to where we are in women’s athletics. But it also reminded me not to forget the long-term view. We are going to get there. Go ‘Bows!

  27. Hilo Moon June 19, 2014 11:08 am

    Welcome home, Monica. I appreciate the sacrifice you are probably making with leaving the USC job and I know that your mom will appreciate the fact that you are here in Hawaii Nei. Aloha and thanks for coming home.

  28. duffer June 19, 2014 11:12 am

    Marissa Chow leading the Women’s U.S. Open at -4 after 6. AWESOME!

  29. A-House June 19, 2014 11:20 am

    thank you bloggers for your kind words regarding the rock garden.

    let it be known that Mrs. A-House was next to me toiling in the hot sun with little rest – ask Derek Inouchi who saw us many weekends working on the garden.

    there not be any legacy for us, but it’s nice to see that BJ is willing to transform the main entry into the athletic complex into something worthy of being a UH student and student athlete

    we did it for Jim Donovan who asked us to install a rock garden after repeated attempts to get his facilities person to do something — year after year.

    let’s consider this as progress in the right direction!!

  30. gobows June 19, 2014 11:35 am

    chow -2 after 8, michelle -1 after 13…stacy lewis in the clubhouse, leads at -3.

  31. Buffoman June 19, 2014 12:06 pm

    #29 You are a class act. Awesome sense of selflessness. And, of course cheers to the Mrs.

  32. Ipu Man June 19, 2014 12:10 pm

    Hmmmm…maybe instead of a waterfall, UH erects a replica of the Rockefeller Center and send them a letter saying they inspire the University Atheletes and would they please be kind enough to consider a small donation of a million or so…

  33. Old Diver June 19, 2014 12:49 pm

    Just saw Joey Iosefa’s facebook page. He works out with Chad Ikei in the morning, goes to class, has an early afternoon workout at UH, then finishes the day with his afternoon team run. Says this is his daily routine. Guy is looking even more beastly. Go Warriors.

  34. SteveM June 19, 2014 1:16 pm

    Somehow, A-House and the rock garden reminds me of the UH baseball stadium, in a way. Now, my memory is from news stories and anecdotes of the time so may not be totally accurate, but…

    Les Murakami became coach of the new UH baseball team. He had an uneven baseball field in the quarry and sought donations for equipment and uniforms. He wanted warmup jackets one year, and his favorite uniform donor said OK, but he only had orange ones. Les accepted, and in recognition of that generousity, the UH baseball team uniforms always had a splash of orange until he retired.

    Les wanted a new baseball field. The stories say that there was no $$$ in the budget and maybe in a year or three… Then one night, heavy equipment and bulldozers pulled into the quarry and leveled the bush and dirt mounds where the stadium now stands. Administration was in chaos– who hired these guys? Where are the requests, permits, proof of insurance, and approval forms with 8 signatures?

    Some contractor stepped up to help Coach Murakami after-hours for free. Well, I suspect a pallet load of beer was involved for the workers.

    The spirit of the equipment vendor and contractor is the same spirit shown by the A-Houses.

  35. tommui June 19, 2014 2:08 pm

    Marissa Chow – for one brief shining moment … but tomorrow’s another day!

    MICHELLE – you go girl!

  36. markazulu June 19, 2014 2:22 pm

    If Iosefa stays healthy i think he will have a break out year.

  37. al June 19, 2014 2:38 pm

    all hail!

    (tipping my old “uh” baseball cap with the mesh back”)
    to the horita’s a.k.a. ahouse, first family of the rainbow warriors!

  38. st. anthony trojan June 19, 2014 3:11 pm

    VERY BIG LOL AT# 15…

    not willing to say….”been there done that” …he he he

  39. Old School Dave June 19, 2014 4:39 pm

    Schools like Utah are now holding summer camps out of state and reaping the rewards recruiting wise.

  40. Shoko June 19, 2014 4:43 pm

    Hope the next project that replaces it is worthy of all that hard work sacrificed by Mr. and Mrs. A-House. Not sure what BJ’s plan is but perhaps leaving remnants of the rock garden would be well-served in showing a little appreciation.

    Welcome home, Monica.

  41. Shoko June 19, 2014 4:47 pm

    I think its a good idea holding camps out of state if a school can afford it. What makes it extremely difficult to do that at UH is the fact they’re located in the middle of the Pacific ocean.

  42. Old Diver June 19, 2014 4:54 pm


    Utah was also at Miano’s Maximum Exposure Camp a couple weeks ago.

  43. NorthShoreFan June 19, 2014 5:06 pm

    Guud evening Tsaikos…bootiful evening.

    M/M A-house if only we all could have the heart and drive you both have. Great example of take the “ugly” by the throat and make something beautiful.
    Maybe can relocate the garden…put out a Tsaiko Call to Arms!…Cheeeeehooo!

  44. NorthShoreFan June 19, 2014 5:07 pm

    well off to a board meeting or was it a battle meeting!?!@#@??

  45. Last Call June 19, 2014 5:17 pm

    I got the impression that Ben Jay was never a fan of the the rock garden. Something to do with feng shui.

  46. We’re always aiming higher. Ayala Land’s Real Estate story started more than 80 years ago –a trajectory for progress, outlining the foundation for the country’s most coveted addresses. Highly regarded growth centers propelled by Ayala Land’s vision of enhancing land, enriching lives for more people. Developed sustainably, communities flourishing for years to come.

  47. st. anthony trojan June 19, 2014 6:29 pm

    where in hell did # 46 come from….what a bunch of crap…from a developer…with no care for the people they are thinking they represent….probably get me deported 4 that he he he

  48. whitey June 19, 2014 6:53 pm

    trojan, you in da real estate business????? hahahahaha

  49. RainbowCliff June 19, 2014 6:58 pm

    #29 Mr. A-House Sir, thank you and Mrs A-House for your countless efforts creating the rock garden. While progress is an on going thing with UH and your humility of accepting AD Ben Jay renovation to “so call” better the athletic complex is admirable on your part, I as a former athlete from the golden era “DO NOT” share those feelings with the administration today or coaches who are willing to change tradition and honor with their own vision of how each athletic team recruits, take away traditional honor awards to their present players and lack of respect to former players.

    I firmly believe that UH lacks the compassion to it’s TRADITION of athletes during the early years in which many players have distant themselves from the program because of their own regressions and not taking advantage to the free education they received as a scholarship student athlete for their respective sport that they gave every single ounce of desire and heart playing as a rainbow warrior. This attitude or lack there of is really no excuse but when you have an athletic department that continues to value money over sweat, hard work and tears wearing the green and white it only leaves an empty value ever playing for UH and a continue separation that is visible today with former athletes of past and present generations.

    In conclusion sounding as a broken record I can only speak for myself knowing why I support UH with volunteer efforts too upper campus who appreciates the dedication and sincerity aiding it’s needs not so much financially but adding incoming students that I recruit personally to attend Manoa as I whole heartily believe that the education received from UH is by far on a higher superior level then any University or College around the country can even offer or come close. It is a respect from my educational peers and alumnus that I feel appreciated as oppose to my athletic years in which nothing but a standard letter from Ben Jay present AD wanting money from me in support to their budget woes nothing more and nothing less.

    To this date I have recruited 744 Los Angeles students from various College high school and junior college fairs filling out interest cards to attend the University Of Hawaii. My goal is to reach 1,000 as I will accomplish that coming this fall. I pray that I can continue to represent the 808 with pride, dignity and respect in which the many fans, former professors and friends gave too me unconditionally when I attended the University back in 1976-81. Hope to see you and Mrs. A House in San Diego where we can laugh and toast to our dedication for the cause as “ROCKS” we shall always be !

  50. A-House June 19, 2014 7:21 pm


    We are humbled by the power of your pen!!!

  51. st. anthony trojan June 19, 2014 7:29 pm

    no me not… n cannot own land or house unless married filipina.. but can own condo only …

    have sum ocean front property here whitey..on top pinatubo…if you want buy he he he

  52. Old School Dave June 19, 2014 9:25 pm

    I’d like to see more players from Long Beach Poly once again. UH had a lot of success with players from there back in the day. Same with players from the Pacific NW and Canada.

  53. Stephen Tsai June 19, 2014 11:44 pm

    I understand how every new administrator believes that everything needs to be changed. But there are many good things in place at UH. To assume, unilaterally, that everything old is bad is misguided and egocentric. As the kids’ song goes: “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver, the other is gold …”

  54. Rodney June 20, 2014 6:53 am

    Is there a AD we could recruit
    from USC !! Lol!!!!
    Welcome home Monica!!!!!

  55. RainbowCliff June 20, 2014 7:18 am

    #52 Old School Dave: There was a time when Hawaii was cleaning up here in Los Angeles for recruits as Poly, San Fernando, Compton High, Crenshaw, Venice, Verbum Dei, Dorsey, Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica High was sending superior athletes to become outstanding rainbow warriors. Over the course of time recruiting philosophy has changed and focus has been to have more local players on the team as oppose to mainland players. The results has shown when UH plays against athletes they look over match in the areas of speed, strength and quickness. Washington will prove my point as their roster has those players from the above schools which will leave you with one option that coaching will make the difference.

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