In a meeting of UH coaches and staff a few weeks ago, Marilyn Moniz-Kaho‘ohanohano announced she would retire June 1 as assistant athletic director/senior woman administrator.
Moniz-Kaho‘ohanohano is smart, diligent and shows passion for her alma mater and student-athletes. She was not always the most agreeable, but progress often cannot be attained without battle. She is a fighter.
Nobody asked me, of course, but here are my unsolicited suggestions for a successor:
> Lois Manin: She already has a significant role as the athletic department’s chief of staff. UH’s Leo McGarry is sharp, witty, innovative and tactful. Most of all, Manin always gets the job done — as media relations director, as an Aloha Stadium official, and as director for football operations last year. In 2007, Colt Brennan was allowed 10 guests to the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Manin was on the list; the AD was not. That shows where she ranks.
> Bonny Amemiya: Keith Amemiya is considered to have the best AD qualities for a someone who’s never been an AD. The thing is, his wife has equal (or better) qualifications. She knows knows how to manage and to raise money. Most of all, she leads with her own wallet, donating her time and money to causes.
> Tracy Orillo-Donovan: Not only does she have a background in UH athletics, she also has ties and a strong understanding of the UH system. I’ve known her for decades, and she’s a doer — and UH needs a lot of things done.
> Donna Mercado Kim: We can talk about separation of UH and state, but they are tied together. Kim has experience at city and state levels of government. UH can use as much access to Beretania and Punchbowl as possible. Oh, no doubt, she’s polarizing. But that can be a good thing.
> Leila Wai Shimokawa: West Oahu’s director of communications has working experience with UH administration, media, lawmakers and athletics. She’s extremely intelligent, feisty but likable, and is a former UH athlete. There’s a parable in which to understand an ant, you have to be an ant. She understands UH, UH-athletics and UH student-athletes.