“We’ll be aggressive in all we do”

The root of new defensive coordinator Legi Suiaunoa’s promotion goes to a football camp in Seattle in 2014.

Nick Rolovich, who was Nevada’s offensive coordinator at the time, and Suiaunoa, who was a Montana assistant, met while working with the same group. They talked about football, family, and former Nevada coach Chris Ault. (Rolovich coached under Ault in 2012; Suiaunoa is a Nevada alumnus.) After that day, Rolovich came away feeling he’d like to coach with Suiaunoa one day. Suiaunoa said he thought Rolovich was a “cool guy,” but can’t remember exactly how he left a strong impression. “Maybe I gave him a piece of candy,” Suiaunoa mused.

In assembling his first coaching staff in December 2015, Rolovich chose Suiaunoa to coach the defensive line, ahead of some UH graduates. In his first year at UH, Suiaunoa worked hard, recruited harder and developed a respectful relationship with his players. He also earned Rolovich’s trust. It is why Rolovich chose Suiaunoa over 15 candidates (and counting) from across the country.

Lempa implemented a 4-3 base that featured 3- and 5-man fronts, as well as nickel sub-packages. Suiaunoa said his scheme will be based on the available personnel. “The X’s and O’s might change, but the philosophy of what (Rolovich) wants doesn’t,” Suiaunoa said. “We want to be aggressive. There are a lot of different ways to apply pressure. We’ll be aggressive in how we coach the guys. We’ll be aggressive in how we attack the football. We’ll be aggressive in how we attack the day and approach practice. We’ll be aggressive in all we do.”

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Sean Duggan will remain on staff, Rolovich confirmed. Duggan was a graduate assistant at Boston College, working with Lempa in 2015, when both were hired at UH last year, presumably as a package deal. Duggan has contributed as a coach and recruiter, and Rolovich did not feel Lempa’s departure warranted another change. Plus, with his girlfriend’s help, Duggan is the defending Golden Apron champion.

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Rolovich said the vacancy on the staff will be filled with a defensive coach, most likely one to team with secondary coach Abraham Elimimian. Lempa helped with the safeties last season. Despite losing Nick Nelson and Ne’Quan Phillips, Eliminian did a good job in developing cornerbacks Jalen Rogers, Jamal Mayo, Roe Farris and Zach Wilson last year.

* * * * *

Special team coordinator Mayur Chaudhari welcomes his added assignment of coaching the defensive ends. Chaudhari was a guest contributor to some of UH’s best defensive efforts last year.

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The 2017 UH baseball team will make its public debut with today’s game against the alumni at Murakami Stadium.

First pitch is at 1 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Last year’s opening-day pitcher — Brendan Hornung — will start today and in Friday’s season-opener against North Carolina State. He has four pitches, including a biting split-finger fastball. He credits that pitch to when he used to place a softball between his index and middle fingers to widen his baseball grip.


  1. islandman February 11, 2017 8:38 am

    1st or 2nd

  2. Ipu Man February 11, 2017 8:50 am

    Weather radar kinda showing less rain by 1pm.
    So baseball bows may be slipping and a sliding…
    Are the fans protected from the rain ST?

  3. tom February 11, 2017 8:52 am


    2ND OR 3RD

  4. Stephen Tsai February 11, 2017 8:54 am

    Ipu Man:
    There is a covering for fans.
    And, more importantly, for media.
    I think Sam Spangler might start for the alumni. If the game is played.

  5. Stephen Tsai February 11, 2017 8:56 am

    I’ve always admired Phil Austin as a coach.
    He’s a former UH player.
    Austin is the associate head coach at Fullerton College, which won the 2016 national championship.

  6. islandman February 11, 2017 9:07 am

    Who’s on first ?

  7. clyde February 11, 2017 9:09 am

    Austin would be a great addition.

  8. papajoe2 February 11, 2017 9:10 am

    clyde, from yesterday’s post~I don’t think Jacob Yoro played for UH. Didn’t he play for Montana? He’s from a great family though and is putting his time in ad a coach on the mainland.

  9. Ohana Hawaii February 11, 2017 10:32 am

    GOOD LUCK WARRIORS! Let’s have a great season this year!. Just remember UH baseball program is always up there in Hawaii with wahine volleyball program. Watch out for the men’s basketball then the football program.

  10. innocent observer February 11, 2017 10:49 am

    Glad that the new DC will used the attack style of tackling. last year under lempa, the tacklers would wait until the runner came to them, resulting in many missed tackles. san diego state uses the attack style and they have a very good defense. the tackler should be aggressive and drive thought the runner, tackling the runner on the run instead of being stationary.

  11. NorthShoreFan February 11, 2017 10:57 am

    Guud Morning Tsaikos…Bootiful Day!
    for ducks…
    Anyhoo, looks like stormy weather ahead. Never the less…woke up with my special patnah so everything is guud.

    Dang it, baseball, basketball, softball, volleyball action going on…wat to do?!?!…will try to get over there to watch our Wahine softballers…looks like one exciting season as always.

  12. clyde February 11, 2017 11:58 am

    papajoe @8: Jacob has a degree from UH. Sorry, didn’t mean to imply he played for the Warriors as I remember that he went to college on the mainland after graduating from Saint Louis. His playing career was cut short by injury. IIRC, the same thing happened in high school; all-state as a junior but missed most (or all?) of his senior year because of injury.

  13. Kapahulu February 11, 2017 1:57 pm

    It seems that the UH Baseball and Softball games scheduled for today have been CANCELLED due to the Flash Flood Warning being extended to 4:30 pm today.

    I believe they will NOT be rescheduled.

  14. Da Punchbowl Kid February 11, 2017 3:08 pm

    Ya had me at “aggressive”!


  15. Akamai Okole February 11, 2017 3:16 pm

    Great Afternoon All!

    Das about it. :mrgreen:

  16. islandman February 11, 2017 3:53 pm

    10. You have to have quickness and speed to do that kind of tackling, otherwise you will be grasping at air.

  17. BigWave96744 February 11, 2017 6:50 pm

    Don’t know what he’s up to know, but David “Happy” Gilmore played safety with Rolo & was a grad assistant in 2008 under Mack, helping the safeties.

    Another young former Hawaii Safety, Spencer Smith, is running the Triple H Tackling Academy in Marietta, Georgia. Spencer played for Mack, when Rolo was the OC.

    Then of course there is maybe one of the best safeties to play for Hawaii working at the docks and loving his Fujitsu.

  18. burro sabio February 11, 2017 6:58 pm

    This was a very strange statement in today’s blog post.

    Duggan has contributed as a coach and recruiter, and Rolovich did not feel Lempa’s departure warranted another change.

  19. H-Man February 11, 2017 7:30 pm

    Aggressive is good, but have to cut out the personal foul penalties.

  20. Kahuna February 11, 2017 7:31 pm

    #18… Maybe when Lempa got the job..there was an understanding that if Lempa was to leave, he was free to take Duggans with him. Now the Lempa have left…Duggans is not following him so that is why he made that statement.

  21. Old School Dave February 11, 2017 8:41 pm

    Cal Poly SLO’s Jacob Yoro is a top candidate to coach the safeties for UH. Yoro holds the same position at SLO and was the DC at Pacific (OR) for 5 years. Have to wait and see, but a an announcement will be coming soon.

  22. al February 12, 2017 3:43 am

    Hmmmm… I thought there was an earlier subliminal message referring to one Phil Austin.

  23. Old School Dave February 12, 2017 5:44 am

    Former UH player Phil Austin would be a good hire, too. Experienced defensive coach at one of the top JUCO programs in Cali. An announcement should be made soon.

  24. Coach DB February 12, 2017 6:58 am

    More man-more press coverage, you got more athletic players on the edges now. Let’s hope the coaching staff takes advantage of them!!!

  25. Stephen Tsai February 12, 2017 9:03 am

    New post: http://hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=41805

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