The 5 who can lead UH

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.


  1. Ipu Man April 22, 2017 7:48 am

    Why does it hafta be a woman?

  2. orioles4eva April 22, 2017 7:51 am

    Princess Leila is an ant?
    Seems like for the women’s AD there are a lot of good candidates.

  3. H-Man April 22, 2017 8:01 am

    I am unaware of Donna Mercado Kim’s support and involvement in UH Athletics. Please fill in the blank for me and tell me how she has supported UH Athletics.

  4. PONO April 22, 2017 8:47 am

    Honestly it seems like those 5 are the best of what’s available locally but they all don’t seem very qualified.

  5. burro sabio April 22, 2017 9:00 am

    ST I have to vehemently disagree. Donna Kim’s brand of polarizing is not what UH needs.

  6. 3-Prong April 22, 2017 9:12 am

    TD Tua!

  7. 3-Prong April 22, 2017 9:12 am

    Alabama Spring Game Now…

  8. 3-Prong April 22, 2017 9:22 am

    Little lucky but Das 2 4 Tua!

  9. Maile April 22, 2017 10:17 am

    Yes, Princess Leila is an aunt…to Micah, David, Jonah, Noah and Makana

  10. Boolakanaka April 22, 2017 10:19 am

    Actually a name, that is at once an iconic alum, a member of an all-decade national championship team is noticeably absent from this list—Tita Ahuna.

    Former HPU Coach and current Punahou Athletic Director, it’s time she came back home…..

  11. Kapahulu April 22, 2017 10:22 am

    What channel is the Alabama Spring Game on?

  12. H-Man April 22, 2017 12:21 pm

    Yes, Tita Ahuna is a good suggestion. Perhaps the best of the names floated so far.

  13. Warrior Dave April 22, 2017 1:28 pm

    Impressive list ST. Some of the names I had no clue. But you built a strong case for all.

  14. turfwar April 22, 2017 1:44 pm

    Tua was dynamite. Throwing for I think three tds. He had something like 270 yds in the first half. He was the talk of the game.

  15. French Fries April 22, 2017 2:40 pm

    Good to see Tua is adjusting well in Alabama. I just think commentators like Trent Dilfer over hype new 5 star players. Jalen Hurts is the #1 QB at bama.

    Still can’t help to think the potential Tua can achieve if and when he is given the opportunity to play.

  16. SteveM April 22, 2017 2:42 pm

    Very interesting list, ST. Something only a UH sports beat writer of almost 30 years could nominate.

    But the name that stands out, to me, is Tracy Orillo-Donovan. Does she even want the job? It would be a step down for her, but if she wants it, there would be no better advocate and fighter for UH women sports. Poised, gracious, charismatic, and at times kinda shy, her unmistakable drive would represent UH well.

    Plus, she doesn’t have to worry about retirement being in the system a long time…and also knows where the skeletons are hidden and who is good for a favor or two. Former athlete and local girl from the North Shore, she will have much insight, and if needed, her husband may have a few tips… 😉

  17. tom April 22, 2017 4:08 pm


    Well four out of five is pretty good selection.

    Always been partial to Tracy though.

  18. Akamai Okole April 22, 2017 4:20 pm

    Great Afternoon All!

    No let the door…

    Das it.

  19. 3-Prong April 22, 2017 4:44 pm

    Beat Da Beach. 1-0 but 9-11 game 2

  20. NorthShoreFan April 22, 2017 6:52 pm

    Guud Evening Tsaikos…Bootiful Evening!
    VolleyBows and BaseBows taking it on the chin today…sigh…

    Anyhoo, Tracy is one classy lady and would be a great choice to lead UH.

  21. Hodad April 22, 2017 8:45 pm

    iPo Man

    Are you clueless or just lost from your village?


  22. ai-eee-soos April 23, 2017 1:32 am

    If you’re still up, or as soon as you wake up, read ST’s

    Rolo, Warriors meet, greet their backers

    Rolo, DB, Dakota Torres and cheer leaders make 3 house calls.

    Unique, or is that out of the box.

    GO Rolo !!!


  23. DaMenehune April 23, 2017 2:00 am

    ai- eee- sos Is Al Kimura a Tsaiko? Al?

  24. KB April 23, 2017 3:20 am

    Sorry but NO to Mercado-Kim. Too much grand-standing. As an example, she made a huge public spectacle of the wonder blunder but nothing on huge molasses spill by matson. $200k versus $3 million+, come on now. Environmental contamination versus an honest mistake.

  25. wafan April 23, 2017 3:24 am

    Hi, al!

    Looking good!!!

  26. cappie the dog April 23, 2017 4:54 am

    Donna Mercado Kim?

    Now is the time to bring up the story of Judith Holland, the UCLA AD who was the chairman of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee that denied a 28-4 Na Wahine squad an at-large bid in 1992(?).

    Coach Goo, it is rumored, said that he would fling his body off the Pali Lookout if she remained on the AD list.

    But if she has some sort of political insider pull to solve the Aloha Stadium lost revenue crisis, by all means, hire her.

  27. cappie the dog April 23, 2017 4:59 am

    “So unplug the jukebox/and do us all a favor/that music’s lost its taste/so try another flavor/antmusic/antmusic/antmusic/antmusic”

    -Adam Ant-

    Leila Wai is an interesting choice.

  28. Da Punchbowl Kid April 23, 2017 7:12 am

    cappie the dog –

    You sure know your UH athletics history, and you know ant music. Nice.

    We like the Princess too!

  29. Stephen Tsai April 23, 2017 8:06 am

    New post:

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