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Hawaii Football Now Podcast: Ep. 15

By Jarin Kobashigawa | Dec. 8, 2021

Episode 15 of the Hawaii Football Now Podcast is now available and the University of Hawaii Football team is now 15 days away from taking on the University of Memphis in the EasyPost Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve. Jordan Helle and Hunter Hughes continue to address the rumors surrounding the intactness of this team and the implications that they may have on the short-term and long-term future of the program. Both Helle and Hughes agree that this “smoke” coming from the UH Football Program can no longer be ignored and cite an SFGATE article written by Marc Delucchi as an example of the national attention this program is now receiving. 

The Current State of the University of Hawaii Football Program

In the past week, Hawaii finished their regular season on a high with their win over Wyoming and with a record of 6-7. However, ten players have since left the program, nine of them via the transfer portal (the most in the MWC) including Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, Running Back Dae Dae Hunter, and Defensive Back Cameron Lockridge. Kai Kaneshiro, being the 10th to leave, announced that he is essentially retiring from the sport. Hawaii’s success under Head Coach Todd Graham over the last two years (holding a .500 record) is overshadowed by the player transfers and the rumors of discontent among players and staff. These rumors have Graham in the middle of it all. 

Helle mentions that it’s never a good thing when a football program’s operations are under examination. It’s also never ideal when there’s public discussion around how a coach should treat its players. Hughes and Helle discuss the difference between old school and new school coaching styles where some view the new school way of coaching as “soft”. Even some supporting coaches allegedly were afraid to ask questions to Graham in fear that they might get yelled at. Helle says “you can call it a softer generation, you can call it whatever you want. But those are the players.” 

Photo Credit: Jarin Kobashigawa

Head Coach Todd Graham

Todd Graham is the 24th coach in the UH Football Program history and the replacement for the 2019 MWC Coach of the Year, Nick Rolovich. Entering in 2020, Graham had goals of leading a program that puts God first but is now being looked at for accusations of verbal abuse and causing widespread discontent in the locker rooms. Helle and Hughes also discuss in the podcast that Graham is not on a lot of social media and is not concerned. Just last week, the Twitter space spurred by UH alumni gained popularity as current players, fans, and other alumni chimed in to share their thoughts. Yet, as Hughes mentions, to communicate with athletes today who are Millennials and Gen Z, it’s a bigger deal now to ignore all that gets talked about on social media.

The Upcoming Hawaii Bowl

This bowl game has quickly become more than just a game to extend the season. Helle and Hughes expect the Hawaii Bowl to be very telling of the current state of the program and may confirm some of the rumors which have now gone national. Helle and Hughes continue to bring you updates on the team and will talk more about the matchup between the Rainbow Warriors and the Tigers as they approach one of their biggest games of the season. 

Thank you to the sponsors of the Hawaii Football Now Podcast, Spectrum and Zanthosyn.