Thursday, June 23, 2005


New DC Glanville in town,
huddles with assistants

If the Hawaii football team's defense gets torched in its first two games this season, it won't be for lack of advance preparation by its defensive coaches.

New defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville has huddled with his position coaches all week, breaking down offensive tape of USC and Michigan State -- the Warriors' opponents Sept. 3 and Sept. 10.

"They look like the old Cincinnati Bengals or Pittsburgh Steelers," Glanville, a former NFL coach, said of the Trojans. "In my mind it's confirmed they're the best team in college football."

Glanville, who was hired by head coach June Jones last March, is here for the week. He's still tying up loose ends at his home near Atlanta and returns to Hawaii in July.

He acknowledges taking on USC and Michigan State is a daunting task for a team that finished last in the nation at stopping the run last year. But Glanville also said the Warriors are on the way to respectability, especially as a coaching staff.

"We've been on lockdown, prisoners this week. I know the things we did (in the spring and this week) will make us better," he said. "The staff is totally into what we're doing and grasping the concepts thoroughly. Where we are now as a defensive staff is light years ahead of where we were."

The Warriors have always considered themselves a blitzing team, but Glanville's arrival promises to take it a step further and gives beleaguered assistants and returning players hope. The defenses of the NFL Houston Oilers and Atlanta Falcons improved dramatically when he took them over in the 1980s.

Glanville said the coaches are scheduled to work on kicking game concepts when he returns in July. Mouse Davis was the special teams coordinator last year. It has not been determined who will have that role this season.

» Davis and Wes Suan are trading positions; Davis will now coach running backs and Suan will have the offensive line.

"He's jacked about it," Davis said of Suan. "He'll do a good job."

Suan was the running backs coach since 1999.

"Yes and no," Jones said when asked about the switch. "They'll be working with each other a lot."

Said Suan: "I coached the O-line at Linfield and I've been in this system for six years. Anytime you go from coaching one to five it's a challenge, but I'm excited about it and ready for it."

Suan has the deepest and most experienced unit on the team; Tala Esera, Samson Satele, Derek Fa'avi, Jeremy Inferrera, Dane Uperesa, Brandon Eaton and Hercules Satele all started games last season. Four of them have been regular starters at least two seasons.

He replaces Mike Cavanaugh, who left for Oregon State.

Suan leaves for Japan next week to coach in a goodwill game. Former Warriors players Chad Kapanui, Karman Saulsberry, Darrell Tautofi, John West, Gerald Welch and Neal Gossett are playing in the game.

» UH offensive line recruit Adrian Thomas from Australia might not meet NCAA eligibility requirements to enroll this fall because of a class that he needs to take.

Even if Thomas is not eligible this year, it is expected he will still end up joining the Warriors in the future.

» UH responded to a query from the NCAA regarding its Warrior nickname with a letter from athletic director Herman Frazier yesterday.

The letter indicates the Warrior nickname does not refer to American Indians. It also includes a picture of unofficial mascot "Vili the Warrior" Fehoko to show that he is not a depiction of an American Indian stereotype.

"As you can see from the photo below, his representation of the nickname 'Warrior' is distinctive to island cultures and not those of American Indians," the letter reads.

In anticipation of the question that Fehoko might be the depiction of a Polynesian stereotype, the letter then reads:

"UH proudly embraces the cultural history and traditions of the Hawaiian Islands and its brands and symbols reflect that pride."

UH was one of 30 schools to receive a questionnaire from the NCAA regarding nicknames and mascots that might be considered offensive to Native American sensitivities.

Athletic department officials learned last month UH was among the 30, and contacted the NCAA. At first, they planned to fill out the survey. When the paperwork was received, it was decided the letter from Frazier would be adequate.

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