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And Now We Wait

“Let’s not hurry up and wait.” Those were the words of Honolulu Star-Bulletin sportswriter Bill Kwon in January 1987, shortly after Dick Tomey resigned as University of Hawaii head football coach to take over the gridiron program at Arizona. “Forget any studies,” Kwon continued. “Don’t bother setting up a panel of so-called experts made up of Downtown Hui guys, or those who contributed to Koa Anuenue or any Tom, Dick or Harriet because he or she saw a Rainbow football game or two in the last few years.

“We don’t need special interest groups. We need someone to act quickly [and] decisively.”

To that, current UH fans would shout, “Amen!”

Easier said than done.

Selecting a new head coach for the university’s flagship athletic program can be a tedious process, but it’s one that Athletics Director David Matlin knows well. He has an excellent track record, too, as his three major hires since becoming AD in March 2015 – Eran Ganot, Robyn Ah Mow and Nick Rolovich – have reaped dividends.

Matlin has told ESPN Honolulu’s Bobby Curran that he understands the need for expediency in hiring the next head football coach. “We want to do this expeditiously,” he said, “but we don’t want to go so fast that we’re reckless. It’s more important to get the right person than get this done two days faster than if we do this in a little more thorough process.

Insiders expect the new coach to be named as soon as late next week.

While we play the waiting game, we thought we’d look back at past coaching departures and see how long it took for each successor to be named.


LARRY PRICE: Resigned – May 11, 1977

DICK TOMEY: Hired – July 1, 1977

51 Days


DICK TOMEY: Resigned, June 13, 1987

BOB WAGNER: Hired – June 16, 1987

3 Days


BOB WAGNER: Fired – Nov. 28, 1995

FRED VON APPEN: Hired – Dec. 13, 1995

15 Days


FRED VON APPEN: Fired – Nov. 30, 1998

JUNE JONES: Hired – Dec. 10, 1998

10 Days


JUNE JONES: Resigned – Jan. 7, 2008

GREG McMACKIN: Hired – Jan. 16, 2008

9 Days


GREG McMACKIN: Retired – Dec. 5, 2011

NORM CHOW: Hired – Dec. 22, 2011

17 Days


NORM CHOW: Fired – Nov. 1, 2015

NICK ROLOVICH: Hired – Nov. 27, 2015

26 Days


NICK ROLOVICH: Resigned – Jan. 13, 2020


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