By: Jarin Kobashigawa
This week on Hawaii Football Now, Episode 21 Hunter Hughes’ sports a mug that sums up the reactions of all UH Football stakeholders. After running out of time in Episode 20 to talk about the State Senate Hearing, the plan for Episode 21 was to continue the analysis on the remaining content. However, with the news of Head Coach Todd Graham’s resignation, Helle and Hughes forgo that discussion in order to talk about who should fill the vacancy.
Todd Graham’s Departure
The shocking news of Head Coach Todd Graham’s resignation hit Hawaii just about one week ago. After the State Senate Hearing, the UH Athletic Department appeared to be throwing their full support behind Coach Graham. But with the departure of Coach Graham, the UH Football fan base took to their phones, quickly voice their thoughts on who should be the next head coach.
With all the player losses via the transfer portal and the off-the-field drama that this program has suffered, Helle and Hughes agree that whoever the next hire is, they have to turn to someone who will be able to turn this ship around. As Hughes put it, the next coach should have a Ph.D. in street smarts, local ties, and should be someone that will excite the fans. Helle said institutional knowledge is important to have in order to understand how this program operates and how it affects the college as a whole.
Hawaii’s Identity Moving Forward
A new coach can influence the play style and recruitment strategies for a football program, and so moving forward, Helle and Hughes talk about Hawaii’s identity. Helle believes in the run-and-shoot look and says Hawaii football should be exciting and about catering towards the local, and typically undersized talent. Most importantly, whatever the identity is for Hawaii moving forward, Hughes says they have to be consistent and rebuild the future around that identity.
New Coach Possibilities
Since Coach Graham’s departure, fans have voiced their opinions and mentioned names like June Jones, Rich Miano, Timmy Chang, and Brian Smith. Jones seems to have stirred up the most chatter and seem to be the safest and move obvious choice for the program. Jones has a record of having success in Hawaii but also has a record of being able to turn programs around. While Miano has since withdrawn his name from consideration in support of Jones, Chang and Smith both are promising options for AD Dave Matlin to choose from.
The time-sensitive decision rests on Matlin’s shoulders, but whoever comes in next is going to be instrumental in constructing and directing the future of UH Football.
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