The final two

The AD search apparently has come down to two very qualified and likable guys: Keith Amemiya and David Matlin.

Both work hard. Both are nice guys who also aren’t afraid to make tough calls. Both work well with others. For Amemiya, that meant dealing with the politics of high school sports and UH’s Board of Regents. For Matlin, that meant dealing with the politics of college football and basketball and ESPN. (Random trivia: Matlin’s father, Lew, was the Hawaii Islanders’ general manager in 1963 and 1964.)

Amemiya or Matlin?

Matlin or Amemiya?

In a perfect scenario, the answer would be: All of the above.

They actually have complementary skills and personalities. If UH could blow up the rules, take a walk outside the box, hiring both would be a start to fixing things that have been too wrong for too long.

But there’s only room for one. This time, there’s no wrong answer.


  1. Maddog50 March 18, 2015 3:07 am

    I hope this gets done asap. I think all anybody wants is better decision making, increased and successful funding, improved marketing of programs to increase fan base not only locally but taking advantage of the unique aspects of Hawaii nationally. First you gotta win and win consistently. Good luck to them both let the best man or fit move ahead—Go Warriors

  2. tom March 18, 2015 4:19 am


    Stephen is up way early this AM.
    You too Maddog50!

    Don’t forget Coaches Choice could use some kala. Donate to your favorite program.
    Coaches Choice can be found at the AHAHUI KOA ANUENUE website.

    Sorry don’t know how to incorporate it into this message.

  3. Bookumdanoaloha March 18, 2015 5:54 am

    Where is the Hawaii Pro Day being held in San Diego and what time does it start.
    We live in San Diego and would love to watch.

  4. 3-Prong March 18, 2015 6:00 am

    This is what tom is talking about:

    Have a Great Day Hawaii and Hawaii At Heart. We should have a new AD soon.

  5. hatakeman March 18, 2015 6:12 am

    Hawaii really needs someone who can play in the big sandbox. I think Chris King filled that bill, but that’s not going to happen. Either candidate will really have to get up to speed quickly.

  6. Stephen Tsai March 18, 2015 6:16 am

    According to the bio: “King successfully completed a bid to get the Broncos into the WAC on Dec. 12, 2012.”
    So, UTPA replaced Utah State?

  7. Stephen Tsai March 18, 2015 6:25 am

    From a Star-Advertiser article on Dec. 8, 2012:
    Dave Shoji on Ben Jay: “He is very aware of the deficit, and he has ideas on how to move us forward.”
    Ben Jay said:“One of the things is taking on challenges. I think if you ask (Ohio State athletic director) Gene Smith or any of my former bosses, that’s something I enjoy. I like to try to tackle issues.”
    From a Star-Advertiser article on Dec. 12, 2014:
    Jay: “Honestly, if I knew more I may not have taken it.”

  8. hatakeman March 18, 2015 6:29 am

    ST, I don’t know, I haven’t been following the WAC, but I do know the WAC dropped football in 2012. What I liked about Chris King are 1) King’s accomplishments led to his selection by the WAC Commissioner as a member of the NCAA Division I Legislative Council, which is the primary legislative body in the Division I governance structure, and 2) Prior to UTPA, King spent seven years (2002-09) at the University of Alabama. King lead the compliance department as Associate Athletic Director for Compliance for his first five years before being promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Administration in 2007.

  9. Arcumfortis March 18, 2015 7:24 am

    I like both of the finalists. I also don’t know enough about either to be able to differentiate them into a personal favorite. But either way at least it feels somewhat hopeful. But as Dave Reardon says in his column today…..lets decide now and get the show on the road.

  10. Maddog50 March 18, 2015 7:36 am

    Would love to take credit for being up early. Iam in the central time zone so it was only 7am or so. Now Mr Tsai he was up early!!!

  11. Tempmanoa March 18, 2015 7:49 am

    Job One for the new AD is to raise State Government funding of UH Athletics to a level that at least matches the schools we compete with. Get this commitment from the State and the program will be on better footing with upper campus and not faced with constant threat of cutting athletic budgets by the University. If this is not done then nothing else really matters.

  12. A-House March 18, 2015 7:56 am


    is that not the responsibility of the UH President/Chancellor?

    does not stop UHAD to “talk story” with individual members of the Legislature or business leaders or general public

  13. Andrew March 18, 2015 8:00 am

    Would be perfect if could have both of them in some capacity working together at the Athletic Department, but as ST has already alluded to, there is only room for one.

  14. boolakanaka March 18, 2015 8:13 am

    Chiming in with many of the folks here, I do think there is a legitimate opportunity to revisit this issue with the legislature. Again, my own personal strategy would be to follow the lead of states like Washington and Florida which provide a state-funded subsidy to meet the requirements of Title IX.

    This is very astute as it makes it not a “per se” athletic department issue, but a broader education topic. Further, I would enlist the assistance and leadership of Congressman Takai, who I can personally attest that he would be supportive. He not only have granular knowledge of the topic, sports, and the politics from the state level, he could also bring in some federal influence.

  15. 808warriorfan March 18, 2015 8:29 am

    There is one thing that concerns me about Keith Amemiya and that is, according to Dave Reardon’s article, he was involved “behind the scenes” in the hiring of Norm Chow. So my question now is after 3 years of NC’s tenure as HC, how does Mr. Amemiya feel about the State of our Football Team. Being that both candidates have solid local backgrounds and understand Hawaii, the culture, and the passion the fans have for UH sports, I would go w/ the person who has “contacts” on the mainland.

  16. 808warriorfan March 18, 2015 8:30 am

    P.S. And hurry up w/ the selection. Job 1 is give Benjy Taylor a contract

  17. ROCKY March 18, 2015 8:32 am

    Both great candidates. Mr. Matlin is my choice based on experience. I wish both well.

  18. Ken March 18, 2015 10:07 am

    Shouldn’t the president be making the final decision? The chancellor is only an “interim” chancellor. Follow the committee decision or why have a committee.

  19. Rodney March 18, 2015 10:21 am

    Mr Matlin would be my pick,but Mr Amemiya will probably be the guy.
    Sign the Basketball coach and let’s recruit a true post player!!!!!

  20. SteveM March 18, 2015 11:06 am

    Good morning everyone!

    Top 20 post after 8 hours? Must be a “wait and see” day…

  21. Andrew March 18, 2015 11:24 am

    Would be nice if they could release what type of ideas/visions/strategic plans that the candidates have for the athletic department. Then the public could actually see the differences between them besides their past credentials. Credentials are one thing, but a big part in the success of the potential candidate is what they want to accomplish and how they are going to accomplish it.

  22. SteveM March 18, 2015 11:31 am

    ST wrote:

    …Amemiya or Matlin?
    Matlin or Amemiya?

    In a perfect scenario, the answer would be: All of the above.

    They actually have complementary skills and personalities. If UH could blow up the rules, take a walk outside the box, hiring both would be a start to fixing things that have been too wrong for too long…

    Someone suggested a few days ago that Matlin should be A.D. and Amemiya Associate A.D …or was it the other way around? In any event, something really out the box is needed as ST suggests. If they can sort out between themselves which gets the bigger office space, why not both?

    …of course the 2nd biggest office and occupant must be vacated for such a move. In any event, I have an inkling the President and Chancellor would jump out of the box and give it maximum effort since this a do-or-die turning point in UH athletics (dramatically-speaking).

  23. cocobean March 18, 2015 11:49 am

    You can file this AD search in the “only in Hawaii” folder. Where else does it take so long to fill this type of vacancy? After this drawn out process the decision is going to be made by someone with an Interim tag next to his name. Only in Hawaii.

  24. hitman March 18, 2015 11:58 am

    aloha everyone !! some how its like we alway here that some theres someone link to punahou !! best luck to this 2 guys !! hope you understand that you repesent the state of hawaii not only the college.
    and other thing funny how no Rick Blangiardi ?

  25. kawika49 March 18, 2015 12:03 pm

    Rick may have had to recuse himself on pay perview and other media decisions.

  26. A-House March 18, 2015 12:17 pm

    I rarely agree with Dave Reardon, but I do today – make a choice and place that name before the UH BOR pronto. BTW, who presents the name to the BOR? Pres or Chancellor?

    Can the Pres/Chancellor, before the 4/16/15 BOR meeting, provide all the capabilities/limitations of each and why and why not reasons for the 2 leading individuals before the meeting date so they will be ready to discuss/decide who will be approved?

    Is it permissible for UH to present the above and ask each BOR member to make a decision now with the BOR secretary taking an official vote count without doing it at a “formal” meeting? Discussion is critical you say? Will a discussion sway the vote of a BOR member? I am left with the impression that it’s a “rubber stamp job”.

  27. Manoa Mist March 18, 2015 1:23 pm

    Eeny meeny miney mo
    Catch an AD by the toe
    If he hollers let him go
    My mother said to pick the very best one!

  28. jimmy the lock March 18, 2015 1:49 pm

    Get over the hump and pick one. No need have 2 co-existing on campus. Choose one. Choose wisely. Waste of money to have both.

    Happy Hump Day.

  29. bouncingball March 18, 2015 2:33 pm

    So-called “national credentials” has proven to a highly overrated criteria in recent AD selections (as well as UH prez) as Frazier and Jay have made glaringly evident. King, in my opinion, would have turned out to be another disaster. Pick Amemiya already. He knows more about local politics an probably is smarter than anyone from the mainland. Ben Jay proved how terribly bad an AD can be – after him, anyone is an upgrade much like anyone after Chow would be an upgrade.

  30. NorthShoreFan March 18, 2015 2:35 pm

    Guud afternoon Tsaikos…bootiful day.

    Mr. Jay had a difficult job to do. Myself, I’d like to know what he meant by “if I knew more, I wouldn’t have taken the job”….
    seems to me there are hidden road blocks along the way and it might be people in positions to know, to give a full briefing to all applicants so they come in with eyes wide open..or was it shut?…idk…

  31. jimmy the lock March 18, 2015 2:43 pm

    Ben said he enjoys challenges. Challenges are filled with unknowns. No excuses Ben. AD FAIL.

  32. seewhy March 18, 2015 2:56 pm

    If Keith is in, start up that SOS campaign again!

  33. Former UH Athlete March 18, 2015 3:05 pm

    No wrong answer until he gets it wrong…

    UH needs to determine which guy THEY consider to be worse, and then hire him because UH gets is wrong so much… by choosing the “wrong guy” in their eyes, in reality, they will be choosing the “right guy”.

  34. jimmy the lock March 18, 2015 3:23 pm

    Know anyone who is qualified to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources? Give the Gov a call.

  35. kapakahi March 18, 2015 3:27 pm

    William Aila…..the previous DLNR Chair.

  36. Kapahulu March 18, 2015 3:29 pm

    # 32:
    RandyAwo – just retired from DLNR Maui.
    Just had a good article about him in a recent Sunday paper.

  37. hitman March 18, 2015 3:58 pm

    im thinking 28 that BJ came in to hawaii thinking he can work with everybody !! then found out the hard way how bad the problem at the UH is !! so lets hope that the new guy that takes over that people in the high up dont leave him hanging like how BJ end up !!

  38. kawika49 March 18, 2015 4:36 pm

    Why not Keith Vierra, as AD?

  39. bouncingball March 18, 2015 4:59 pm

    #35, disagree the UH problems are THAT bad. BJ just needed to make good decisions, starting with getting rid of Chow 2 years ago and Trapasso last year, not sticking his foot in his mouth as he’s done numerous times, handling contracts correctly (especially the Gib fiasco). His incompetence made things worse. As recent results have shown, there are many good things about UH athletics. A solid foundation that a decent AD can use to build the program.

  40. Otto March 18, 2015 5:11 pm

    #24. You can’t present anything to the BOR unless its on the agenda (Sunshine Law), maybe if its during “executive session” you don’t need too. And it has to be on the agenda 7 or ??? days in advance (so it can be posted for public info).

  41. Tiki808 March 18, 2015 5:12 pm

    who? 2 of them.

  42. Tiki808 March 18, 2015 5:35 pm

    I meant it. Who? They are unknowns. Really. Think about it.

  43. hitman March 18, 2015 5:47 pm

    very true 37 im all for chance more so at football !! all what i was saying he he lost the power that in his corner when he took the job !!

  44. SteveM March 18, 2015 7:11 pm

    Really slow day on the blog.
    Anyone want to participate in a informal blog poll for your favorite A.D. finalist?
    If so, post “A, B, C, or D” to indicate:

    A = Keith Amemiya
    B = David Matlin
    C = “either will be fine”/no preference
    D = neither

  45. SteveM March 18, 2015 7:16 pm

    BTW, posting multiple times under different names will not sway or influence any person in power… his is just to take the temperature here. 😐

    E = “try and get them both somehow”

  46. 808WarriorFan March 18, 2015 7:53 pm


  47. cappie the dog March 18, 2015 8:03 pm



  48. mike96816 March 18, 2015 8:06 pm

    I don’t get it. What’s the point of appointing a committee to screen AD applicants if Bley-Vroman isn’t going to accept said committee’s lone recommendation? I watched the televised newscast when Bley-Vroman announced Ben Jay’s resignation, and upon questioning, I recall he stated he was looking for a Ben Jay clone to be the next AD. By that standard, neither Matlin or Amemiya appears to be qualified for the position.

  49. beans March 18, 2015 8:31 pm

    UH Pro Day tomorrow in San Diego. Good luck to our boys!

  50. st. anthony trojan March 18, 2015 9:08 pm


  51. Winning March 18, 2015 9:17 pm

    Of the remaining 2 finalists, which do you think would be the best salesman for your company primarily doing business in Hawaii? To me, its very simple. And I think most people would agree that its that simple. Common sense should have picked an AD already! I have a sneaking suspicion that B-Vroman has plenty common sense. But I guess well see.

  52. hitman March 18, 2015 9:33 pm


  53. DaMenehune March 18, 2015 10:39 pm


  54. Da Punchbowl Kid March 18, 2015 10:39 pm

    A… or E!

    I’m Da Punchbowl Kid and this is my only vote in this poll!

    Go Warriors!!!
    Go Wahine!!!

  55. 3-Prong March 19, 2015 5:13 am

    A or B? Ask youself who you would trust more with the funds you invest in UH sports.

  56. Stephen Tsai March 19, 2015 7:02 am

    New post:

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