Wednesday, June 19, 2002

University of Hawaii

UH near
hiring new AD

The athletics director from
Alabama meets today with key
officials at the Manoa campus

Friend says Frazier would be good fit

By Dave Reardon

Herman Frazier is on the verge of becoming the University of Hawaii's next athletics director, according to several sources close to the situation.

UH Vice President Paul Costello confirmed that Frazier, the current University of Alabama-Birmingham athletics director, was scheduled to meet with high-level UH officials here today.

"Herman Frazier arrived in Honolulu last evening. He will meet with (UH) President (Evan) Dobelle and (interim Chancellor) Deane Neubauer within the next 24 hours," Costello said. "It's in the final stages."

Hugh Yoshida, UH athletics director the past 10 years, announced in February that he would retire by the end of December.

While several other sources said yesterday that Frazier's hiring is all but a done deal, UH is not expected to make an official announcement until Friday, when its Board of Regents meets. The board approves the final selection, which will be made by Dobelle and Neubauer.

"There's been no offer yet, but Frazier's the leading contender by far," a source close to the hiring process said yesterday.

A Birmingham, Ala., television station reported yesterday that Frazier had resigned from UAB to take the Hawaii job. But UH and UAB officials said that was premature.

"He has not resigned from here," UAB's Dale Turnbough said yesterday. "He did tell (interim President) Dr. (Malcolm) Portera that he would be interviewing at Hawaii."

Frazier, 46, was not available for comment yesterday.

A native of Philadelphia, he became athletics director at UAB in 2000, succeeding Gene Bartow. But not everyone would say Frazier's tenure with the Blazers has been successful.

The UAB athletic department is operating at a $7.5 million deficit, and the University of Alabama System trustees have considered shutting down the Blazers athletic programs.

Oliver Robinson, an Alabama state representative and one of Frazier's staunchest supporters at UAB, said Frazier doesn't deserve criticism for the athletic department's financial woes, that the problems were there before he got there and he hasn't had enough time to fix them.

"He walked into a hornets' nest," Robinson said.

On Monday, UAB announced the hiring of alumnus Brian Mackin to the newly-created position of senior associate athletic director for external affairs. Mackin's job is to raise funds and market the athletic program.

Also, UAB is still involved in lawsuits stemming from a sex scandal involving Blazers football and basketball players and a 15-year-old UAB student. The incidents occurred in the summer of 2000, before Frazier took the UAB job.

Frazier's 23 years at Arizona State University were less controversial. After starring for ASU's national championship track and field team in 1977, the Olympic gold medalist for the United States' 1976 4x400 relay became a graduate assistant track coach for the Sun Devils.

He later became assistant director of events and facilities, director of athletic facilities, assistant director of operations and associate director of athletics. From 1996 to 2000, he was senior associate athletic director for business and operations.

Frazier was one of three vice presidents of the U.S. Olympic Committee in 1996 and worked with the U.S. team in Sydney, Australia, at the 2000 Games.

He is also active with the NCAA as a peer review team member and is on the NCAA Certification Committee.

He chaired the outdoor track national championships in 1994-95.

Frazier is on the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors, serving as vice president in 1996 and chairman in 1998-99.

UH Athletics

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