In February, when Wade Keli‘ikipi called to say he was renegaing on a UH commitment to sign with Oregon State, Greg McMackin wished him well and promised there would be an opening should Keli‘ilipi choose to return in the future.
That return policy has helped the Warriors land Mana Lolotai, Mana Silva and Kealoha Pilares, to name a few, and it recently brought back fomer All-State defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu.
Tuipulotu was a star at Kahuku High and a starter at Arizona.
But he told Kahuku coach Reggie Torres he felt the pull of the islands, and requested — and received — a release from his Arizona scholarship.
He then contacted the UH coaches.
Tuipulotu must sit out the 2009 season, in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, but after that he’ll have two seasons to play for the Warriors.
By then he will serve as the successor to another Kahuku graduate, defensive tackle Tuika Tufaga, who is entering his senior season.
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Defensive line coach Dave Aranda and associate head coach Rich Miano have secure summer internships with NFL teams.
Aranda will be with the Denver Broncos. MIano will work with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Both will be back in enough time to prepare for the start of training camp in August.