UH, Ellis Jr. complete the circle

On a typical summer day in 1963, father and son were cleaning the family’s back yard.

“And he got a stroke,” said Agenhart Ellis Jr., noting his father suffered partial paralysis on his right side.

Ellis Jr., who had recently completed his freshman season at Kansas, faced a dilemma. As the eldest of six kids, Ellis Jr. was needed at home β€” to help his mother, who was eight-months pregnant, and to take his father to rehab three times a week. Kansas coach Doug Weaver told Ellis Jr. to take the year off, use it as a redshirt, then return for his sophomore season. Kansas would hold his scholarship. But Ellis knew a year would become a lifetime; family always would come first.

It did not appear UH would be an option, either. According to a UH study, the school’s annual tuition for a resident was $170 for the 1963-64 academic year.

“The thing is,” Ellis Jr. said, “I couldn’t afford that.”

But then UH coach Jimmy Asato said there was enough money to offer Ellis Jr. a scholarship. Ellis Jr. accepted, then went on to play three seasons as a 5-foot-11, 265-pound defensive tackle. Larry Price was his roommate and, a couple years later, his coach.

“The University of Hawaii gave me an opportunity to go to school and get a degree,” Ellis Jr. said.

He eventually had a long career at Farrington High as a teacher, coach and athletic director. One of his hires was Skippa Diaz. Another was Harry Pacarro, whose basketball motto was “run, gun, and have some fun.”

“Those guys were great with kids,” Ellis Jr. said. “That’s all I can ask for. They were legends.”

Ellis Jr.’s son, Agenhart Ellis III, played for the Warriors, and was part of the 1992 team that went 11-2 and won the Holiday Bowl. Ellis III is now Punahou’s defensive coordinator.

“It all worked out,” Ellis Jr. said. “To this day, we’re thankful for the University of Hawaii.”

Ellis Jr. will be the Warriors’ honorary captain for tomorrow’s homecoming football game against Nevada. He will deliver the pre-game speech that might include everything but the origin of the name Agenhart, now carried on to a fourth family member.

“Some people thought I was in the FBI because I’m an ‘agent,'” Ellis Jr. said, laughing. “After you’ve gown up, then you’re proud of (the name). When you’re in kindergarten and the kids can’t pronounce your name, you have to test your spurs. I love the name. I’m proud of it.”


  1. tom October 24, 2014 8:48 am


  2. Wes'side Warrior October 24, 2014 8:59 am

    Morning, Gang!

    Agenhart! What a name!

  3. Wes'side Warrior October 24, 2014 9:00 am

    Good to hear Mrs. Chow is on the road to recovery.

  4. Wes'side Warrior October 24, 2014 9:03 am

    While growing up in Honokai Hale (here on the Wes’Side, just before Ko ‘Olina), there was a family whose sons were all named “*hart” (like Zanehart, Rinehart, etc.) Wonder what the origin of that name is?

  5. hatakeman October 24, 2014 9:06 am

    Great story.

  6. HiloBilly October 24, 2014 9:08 am

    Great intro to today’s WB! Agenhart’s one of the most level-headed, friendly guys you’ll ever get to know. If you read yesterday’s link from BigWave, the baby girl in the picture, Tenille, is now a freshman at Punahou. I suspect that with her great athletic & academic genes, we’ll be hearing about her within the next few years!

  7. ArcumFortis October 24, 2014 9:13 am

    Stories like ST’s this morning remind of the traditions and stories and people who preceded our current team. Our current team stands on the shoulders of these “ancestors” and our performance at present is a reflection of all who came before. Maybe a homecoming/retro uniform night will be the element that helps our team find its “heart of a warrior”…..as has been present many times in the past and is only a breath away in the present.

  8. st. anthony trojan October 24, 2014 9:14 am

    great games last night in prep football…from what i read…

    lets hope sum of that atmosphere n scoring..’rubs’ of on them warriors on saturday…

  9. beans October 24, 2014 9:32 am

    Great story on Ellis III. Obviously he is doing a great job at Punahou. Hopefully he will move our players to excel tomorrow night too. Go Bows Go!

  10. gigi-hawaii October 24, 2014 9:46 am

    What a great story! Hope he inspires our Warriors on Saturday.

  11. Buffoman October 24, 2014 10:48 am

    I think that the “team” is not quite at the stage where they are a team. Watch how they perform the Haka. Not all are in sync, not all are emotionally invested in it and some look like they are just going through the motions. The excuse of not knowing is no excuse. Like football mechanics, if you don’t know you seek out and make it a point to learn it; if it’s important to the spirit of the TEAM and successful execution.

    Sort of looks like how the team plays. Not all parts are in sync.

    Maybe they should pass on the Haka since it does not appear to be a part of the team that has all of the participants completely invested.

    For a team to be a team and function as a team, all involved need to be completely invested. Maybe it that that keeps the Warriors of today just the “breath away” of being as successful as those successful teams that preceded them.

  12. (Jesse)James October 24, 2014 10:50 am

    Good Morning Tsaikos!!!

    Nice story….ST….always good to hear these kinds of stories. πŸ™‚

  13. A-House October 24, 2014 11:03 am

    speaking of losing fans

    in our Rice tour group was my high school classmate – on our flight from Houston to Las Vegas he said that no more than 4 years ago, the number of people from Kauai would fill 2 buses – that equates to 120 individuals – on this trip there were 8

    and other tour members from Oahu, the “older generation”, that’s older than me, their thought was why continue to support UH football – they are truly the “1st generation” of UH football fans going back to the 50’s and 60’s.

  14. Former UH Athlete October 24, 2014 11:32 am

    Nice write up…

    The Puna Lava news has pretty much consumed my attention the past few weeks. Mother nature is still an amazing force. Looks like Pele is going to retake Puna starting today.

  15. SteveM October 24, 2014 12:24 pm

    Good afternoon everyone!

    Looking forward to seeing and hearing Agenhart Ellis Jr. at the game tomorrow.

  16. Former UH Athlete October 24, 2014 12:26 pm

    Wowza… Tonight’s Oregon vs Cal matchup has a total of 79. It’s so absurdly high I think I’ll take the under, even though I know both teams are capable of putting up a ton of points. Usually, super high scoring games can’t get to 80 without the help of multiple turnovers/big returns leading to quick scores. Or multiple overtimes.

    Overtime is something that is extremely unlikely with this matchup.

  17. beans October 24, 2014 12:40 pm

    I didn’t quite understand that after all those years of supporting the team why the “older generation” was questioning supporting UH football now. Now is when they need our support! If they were winning they would have lots of support. Everybody loves a winner. But even the ugly should be able to find someone to love them. Look deep! Maybe the ugly will turn into something beautiful………..Don’t get off the bus now!
    p.s. Good fan to travel all the way to Houston to support. Stay true.

  18. A-House October 24, 2014 1:01 pm


    they support the players, but not the coaching staff who craft the “offensive scheme(s)” and call the “offensive plays”

    they, like many others, are tired, just plain tired of seeing “up the middle” and flat passes to the LOS, which gain miniscule yards

    perhaps those plays would be productive with different players, but why beat your head against a concrete wall saying, “it will work, it will work” when it usually does not?

    yes, most teams, college and professional, do up the middle, gain few yards – there are a few, really few times, when the play goes for measurable yardage, but for 90% of the time it’s 2 or 3 yds at best – the 49ers also do it with Gore with similar results and I yell at the TV – what the hell!!!!!!!!!!

    once Chow said it was to keep the defense honest – really? but to run it multiple time consecutively seems crazy (IMHO)

    fans like “excitement” be it passing or running game w/o up the middle and flat passes – like, the WR screen to the middle of the field and directly into the heart of the defense – does this make sense? how many PRO teams no longer use this play – I believe the Broncos used it once against the 49ers and it gained 3 or 4 yards at most – uses Keenan’s and Saint Juste’s speed, quickness to go around either end.

    so, the tough ? is why does UH use “up-da-middle” so much? many times consecutively with very limited success? as an offensive coach, would you not want to be more innovative and use whatever personnel at your disposal to gain an offensive advantage over your opponent? some call it “strategy”

    with over 30+ years as an offensive coordinator, I truly expected more from Chow.

  19. st. anthony trojan October 24, 2014 1:08 pm

    beans.. maybe me is of that generation ur ‘questioning’…
    not knowing ur age..sort of hard to answer directly…

    one morning all of us will be facing in the future..is when to ‘give up’…
    there comes a time when you have to take stock of urself n say…when do i give uo n stop driving..when do i stop mowing the lawn…when do i stop coaching…when do i stop cooking… when…when…when…it is a hard thing to gauge..unless ur in their shoes…if not this year when.. next year..then sum one will question him next year…why u stop this year…we need ur support…for me it is ok to stop physically when you have to struggle to attend…

    we all should all praise him for his support all these years… cuz from what he says..he still support in his ‘heart’ n that is equally important…

    maybe he is a very humble man.. n no can walk long distances ne more..or in a wheel chair…or cant see good ne more…could be a multitude of reasons…should not question him…he had his time when younger to support..n by his account he did…

  20. UH Fan Forever October 24, 2014 1:28 pm

    Don’t forget… The year UH went undefeated in the regular season, not everyone did the Haka too; nor was everyone in sync. The team’s problem is consistency in execution; making the “right” plays, making the “right” cuts. So let’s not judge the team because they all don’t do the Haka the way it suppose to.


  21. clyde October 24, 2014 1:37 pm

    I’ve had the pleasure of serving alongside Agenhart on a committee for some 30 years, and now realize how little I really know him. Thanks, Stephen, for the interesting back story. Agenhart is a man of great integrity and open aloha. I hope the team finds inspiration in his and his family’s story.

  22. cocobean October 24, 2014 1:43 pm

    A-House. speaking about losing fans. Most people think winning is the panacea that will solve UHAD financial problems. While I agree winning helps the bottom line I think our money problem goes deeper than that. The reality is Media money has corrupted college football to the point where mid majors like us will be hard pressed to survive. With the upcoming playoff system more money will be funneled to the Power 5 with very little trickling to mid majors. How many mids will be able to ante up when the Power 5 starts paying players?

    I don’t think 7-6, 8-5 or 9-4 against MWC competition will push attendance over 35k. When we first joined the WAC the dream was we would improve every year and be able to compete with anyone in the country. Fans came out and supported that dream. Those days are long gone. Nothing short of going undefeated or miraculously getting invited to a Power 5 conference will average attendance go 40k.

  23. islandman October 24, 2014 1:50 pm

    Although last year UH seemed to have a more wide open style with Schroeder, here is a philosophy that might look familiar.

    ” His conservative style of football (especially on offense) was often described as “three yards and a cloud of dust”β€”in other words, a “crunching, frontal assault of muscle against muscle, bone upon bone, will against will.” The basic, bread-and-butter play in _____’ playbook was a fullback off-guard run or a tailback off tackle play. _____ was often quoted as saying “only three things can happen when you pass (a completion, an incompletion, and an interception) and two of them are bad.”

  24. ai-eee-soos October 24, 2014 2:05 pm

    from previous blog … “A-House October 24, 2014 at 7:49 am
    Dr Sherrer is a dentist on Kauai.
    and yes, there were a bunch of transfers from the AFA who were bounced for cheating – Larry Cole was one; was Casey Ortiz in this group? ”

    NOT necessarily bounced for cheating. Something like “Will not cheat, nor
    TOLERATE anyone who does .” Some guys knew who cheated, but “did
    not turn them in.” Don’t know what Larry Cole’s status was. About 50 cadets
    were dismissed.

    Re: Casey Ortiz – he was a refugee from, of all places, SMU !!!

  25. SailorBlue October 24, 2014 2:12 pm

    Calling all Tsaiko Tgaters,

    It’s Homecoming tgate time. Come on out support the team and enjoy some food, fun, friendship and football.

    As a reminder:

    -Place remains the same – Rainbow Bay Marina, Cabana “A”.

    -Tgate is potluck style. Bring your beverage of choice. Paper goods/cutlery provided by Tsaikos

    -Early crew will be arriving at about 9 AM

    -Grill crew will fire up about 10:30 so the grill will be ready by 11 AM

    -Clean-up will be 1.5 hrs before game (~4:30 PM). If you want to leave to go inside the stadium clean up what you brought.

    -Reminder the donation bucket will be open to support tgates. This money pays for the cabana and common use items like charcoal, paper goods, utensils, etc.

    -If you are planning on attending the post-game tgate bring your coolers to help store the left-over food.

    -Tsaikos be sure to let your guest know where we’re located, the password and the few simple rules we follow.

    -Questions or directions? Email me: jboster(at)yahoo(dot)com


    Cheers, SailorBlue

  26. ai-eee-soos October 24, 2014 2:24 pm

    follow up to #23.

    I don’t think Larry Cole needed to cheat.

    He graduated from Engineering School; owned a Construction Co.,

    post NFL.

  27. beans October 24, 2014 2:58 pm

    I believe Larry had a pretty long career playing tackle for the Cowboys. He was one of the best linemen to come out of UH in that era. Glad that he has had a successful life after football too.
    Puu-Robinson brothers are also brothers that start for Punahou and UH. So one plays tonight and the other tomorrow night. Good Luck!

  28. UHfan808 October 24, 2014 3:05 pm

    Good afternoon day before homecoming game day, Tsai-kos!!

    Hope everyone’s Aloha Friday has been fine n danday! 😎

    Congratulations and thank you for accepting honorary captain duties, Mr. Ellis Jr! Glad you were afforded the opportunity to play football and care for your family at same time! πŸ™‚

  29. UHfan808 October 24, 2014 3:09 pm

    Posted this last nite and repeating it today:

    Post tomorrow:

    I asked Ben Jay awhile ago when the season first started whether he could do some kind of outreach for fans to help us understand the challenges and needs of the team and he said they were putting together a video with some media folks. Looks like this is it!

    UH doing lots of good things with so much going on with our athletics program. Our community has lots to be proud of! 😎

    UH video:


    Find the Vimeo app suitable for your device here: http://vimeo.com/everywhere

    Note: If you have an iPhone or iDevice, it may take you to the Apple app store and ask you to upload or open the Vimeo app. In the Vimeo app, click on “my feed” then physically pull the screen down and a search bar will appear near the top. Type in (or copy/paste): “Ahahui Koa Anuenue” and the video should appear.


  30. Fei Jai October 24, 2014 4:05 pm

    Not going predict actual score anymore if think UH going lose. Only predict score from now on if think UH going win.

    UH loses tomorrow by 2 touchdowns.

    Darn it!

  31. What??? October 24, 2014 4:17 pm

    I hope all the people who go to Dr. Larry Sherrer for eye exams know that he’s a dentist.

  32. ArcumFortis October 24, 2014 4:23 pm

    I think we will need to score at least four touchdowns to win tomorrow. Recent history suggests this will be difficult. The offense looked pretty decent in the last half off theWyoming game and if they can be in that groove again maybe we have a chance. But against San Diego State we were back to being anemic. I would love to leave Aloha Stadium tomorrow after a win and one in which our offense was clicking. But I must admit my capacity to imagine this has become significantly reduced. I don’t think we can do it. But I would love to be wrong and be called on the carpet for having lost faith. I would be the happiest wrong person in Honolulu.

  33. nutmegger October 24, 2014 5:11 pm

    UH can do it. They won’t have the travel bug. The team has an inner resolve that will emerge because they got whacked with Joey’s suspension and the road loss. I expect they will come out swinging. They will do damage. Expect penalties.

  34. kawika49 October 24, 2014 5:32 pm

    Mr. Fei Jai, you would be considered in selection, as NGE.

  35. islandman October 24, 2014 6:51 pm

    30. — What ??

    Larry Sherrer is an MD and Ophthalmologist, per internet ( try spelling that specialty without looking it up .

    Maybe you are thinking about Dan Robinson. who i think, is a DDS.

  36. BigFan October 24, 2014 7:46 pm

    Alex Kaloi, former QB, also is a dentist. Maybe it’s him??? Another example of the need to check one’s facts especially if you’re going to a doctor, lol.

  37. Fei Jai October 24, 2014 8:28 pm

    Parking should not be problem at stadium tomorrow. 24k people max attending.

  38. 3-Prong October 24, 2014 8:30 pm

    Kickin back with my little green friends watchine the Wahine. hehe

    Let’s Go Bows!

  39. champ October 24, 2014 10:42 pm

    To islandman, Dick Tomey was the one that made that quote. That is why we only scored 3pts against Byu and Jim McMahon and lost the next week. But he was a great recruiter and a great defensive coach. Remember John Woodcock, Steve Lehor, AJ Cleveland, and many more than I can remember. What we have now is very reminiscent of those days but at least those past teams won games. Has anyone checked if David Graves has a year left and if he would come back after our current regime is gone?

  40. champ October 24, 2014 10:45 pm

    By the way, Agenhart Ellis the I cant remember was in my University of Hawaii choir class as were some other teamates of his. I think Dave Holmes was the coach. He use to win some games too.

  41. cocobean October 25, 2014 12:35 am

    Champ. 3yds and a cloud of dust is Woody Hayes. A lot coaches have used that passing quote throughout the years. It popped up a lot during JJ years here used by different color men on radio and TV.

  42. beans October 25, 2014 2:29 am

    Punahou squeaked one by tonight. Props to St Louis for the vast improvement since their last meeting. We have many talented young men on those two teams who will go on to do well at the next level. Congratulations to the younger Lakalaka and Puu-Robinson brothers. Hopefully big brother will secure a win tonight also.
    Go Bows Go!

  43. 3-Prong October 25, 2014 7:14 am

    L.A., la la la la Los Angeles. Hope got buddy pass room for us.

  44. UHfan808 October 25, 2014 7:18 am

    Good morning and Happy Game Day, Tsai-kos!

    Yahooooo wahooooo!! Alllllmost game time!!

    Looking forward to today’s game! GO WARRIORS!!!

    Chomp them wolves, the entire pack!


  45. UHfan808 October 25, 2014 7:19 am

    Getting my mind set for today!


  46. UHfan808 October 25, 2014 7:21 am

    Have a great game, everyone! πŸ˜€

    I’m looking forward to seeing fantastic things from our entire team!

    WARRIORS: BELIEVE!! I DO!! Cheeeeeehu!!!

  47. A-House October 25, 2014 9:15 am

    Chow made 2 interesting comments in the sports page this am.

    wonder what we will see offensively tonight – will it start spicy and exciting or reverting to the “same oh, same oh” after the 1st quarter?

    if “spicy and exciting” and UH loses, it may bode well for future home games as fans will be abuzz about what they will see at the next game – home or away!

  48. kev-1 October 25, 2014 9:27 am

    A-House . . .

    You noticed the same thing I did in the article. He eluded to the possibility of opening it up. BUT, the article pretty much says that it will be ground dominant.

    I think it will be more of the latter. If we can pound it, great. Let’s just hope that if the ground and pound aint working, adjustments get made. PLEASE!

  49. kev-1 October 25, 2014 9:30 am

    Punahou vs. St. Louis sounded like one heck of a ball game last night. High school football in Hawaii needs to merge ILH and OIA D-I schools into one conference so the best teams make it to the playoffs.

    This year is Mililani’s though, for sure. That’s one heck of a football team. And most of their playmakers are juniors!

  50. Stephen Tsai October 25, 2014 10:13 am

    New post: http://hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=25497

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