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UH Sports: 2019 in Review

2019 was a banner year for University of Hawaii Athletics, filled with championships, awards and records. From the men’s volleyball team march to the NCAA Championship final to the football team’s first-ever conference division title, there were achievements that Hawaii fans could celebrate all year long. Here’s a quick review of the year that was:


UH head football coach Nick Rolovich has his contract extended through the 2022 season.

The UH sailing team kicks off their 50th anniversary season.

A blessing is held for the completed renovations to the Les Murakami Stadium baseball clubhouse and Gym 2 basketball practice facility. UH Athletics Director David Matlin: “We feel the upgraded facilities keep us competitive on the national level and are really a game-changer for our baseball team as well as our men’s and women’s basketball programs.”


The UH Rainbow Wahine softball team celebrates the opening of its 35th season.

Rainbow Warrior basketball player Jack Purchase breaks the program record for most three-pointers made in a career.

A record 24 UH student-athletes are recognized by the Mountain West Conference as “Academic All-Conference.” Among the honorees is long-snapper Noah Borden, who earned his fourth consecutive Academic All-Conference award.

The UH swimming and division program makes history as both the men’s and women’s teams win their respective Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships.


The UH women’s basketball team clinches the No. 2 seed in the Big West Tournament by defeating CSUN, 69-68.

Rainbow Wahine head basketball coach Laura Beeman is inducted into the California Community College Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

The Rainbow Wahine fall to UC Davis in the championship game of the Big West Basketball Tournament, 58-50.

Junior swimmer Phoebe Hines is named an All-American after placing fifth overall in the 1,650 freestyle event at the NCAA Championships.

Hawaii loses to Saint Mary’s, 67-43, in the opening round of the WNIT.


The UH baseball team defeats defending Big West champion Cal State Fullerton, 3-1, at Les Murakami Stadium. The win clinched a 2-1 series win over the Titans – Hawaii’s first over CSF since 2016.

Bob Coolen gets his 1,000th career victory as Rainbow Wahine softball coach.

The men’s golf team hosts the Big West Championship for the first time. The Rainbow Warriors post their best-ever finish in the tournament – fifth.

The men’s volleyball team captures its first Big West volleyball championship with a five-set thriller over Long Beach State at the Stan Sheriff Center. The next day, the Rainbow Warriors are named the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The UH beach volleyball team earns their fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship.

The Rainbow Wahine water polo team captures the Big West Championship and advances to the NCAA Tournament.

Two Rainbow Warrior football players are selected in the 2019 NFL Draft: Linebacker Jahlani Tavai by the Detroit Lions (2nd round) and receiver John Ursua by the Seattle Seahawks (7th round)

UH tennis player Petra Melounova earns her third consecutive berth in the NCAA Singles Championship. She advances to the Round of 16.


The beach volleyball team falls to top-seeded USC in the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship, but still notch their fourth-straight top-four finish.

The Rainbow Warrior volleyball team falls short in the National Championship match, losing 3-1 to Long Beach State.

UH beach volleyball’s Pani Napoleon is named Big West Freshman of the Year.

UH celebrates the spring graduation of 119 student-athletes.

Former UH football coach Dick Tomey passes away at age 80.

Elliot Ptasnik is named the new men’s and women’s swimming and diving head coach.

Petra Melounova becomes the first UH tennis player (men or women) to earn Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) NCAA Division I All-American honors.


Hawaii redshirt junior pitcher Dylan Thomas is selected in the 13th round of the MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins.


It is announced that 70 UH student-athletes from the Winter and Spring sports teams received Big West All-Academic honors.


Seven-time PGA Tour winner Scott Simpson joins the UH women’s golf team as an assistant coach.

The Hawaii football team defeats Arizona, 45-38, in the season opener for both teams. Senior defenders Kalen Hicks and Manly “Pumba” Williams stopped Wildcat QB Khalil Tate at the 1-yard line as the time expired.


The renovation of Gym 1 is completed, giving the UH men’s and women’s volleyball teams a first-class facility. Rainbow Warrior head coach Charlie Wade: “This clearly is a great facility for our students to learn and to come and give their best effort every day. It’s a big upgrade in both performance and safety for us because the other [gym] was slippery and hot, so this is just great on so many levels.”

Men’s volleyball assistant coach Josh Walker is named the ACVA Assistant Coach of the Year.


The Rainbow Wahine soccer team clinches its first-ever berth in the Big West Tournament.

It is announced that UH men’s basketball head coach is taking a medical leave of absence. Ganot: “Although it pains me to leave the team, there are certain health issues that I need to address. I have a plan and I will return.” Recently hired Chris Gerlufsen is named acting head coach.

The Rainbow Wahine cross country team competes in the NCAA West Regional at the Colfax Golf Course in Colfax, Washington.

The UH football team captures its first-ever MW West Division title with a 14-11 win over San Diego State.

Rainbow Wahine volleyball coach Robyn Ah Mow is named Big West Co-Coach of the Year, sharing the award with Cal State Fullerton’s Ashley Preston.


UH is selected to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament. Host Hawaii beats Northern Colorado and San Diego to advance to the Sweet 16 round.

UH head football coach Nick Rolovich is named the MW Coach of the Year.

Hawaii falls to Boise State, 31-10, in the MW championship game played in Boise, Idaho.

The Rainbow Warriors accept an invitation to play in the 2019 SoFi Hawaii Bowl against BYU.

The Rainbow Warrior volleyball team is selected No. 1 in the preseason national poll.

Thirty-nine UH student-athletes graduate at the university’s Fall Celebration.

Hawaii beats BYU, 38-34, in the SoFi Hawaii Bowl.

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