Hogue fits in as Pacific West Conference commish
THE NEWS: Bob Hogue is the new commissioner of the Pacific West Conference.
The reaction: What?
How did that happen?
"At 22 years old I was a CPA, working for Price Waterhouse, I never had any inkling at all that I might actually have a life of sports ahead of me. But one year later, after going to a broadcasting workshop, I got a radio job -- I know I sound like Ted Baxter right now," Hogue said yesterday in one of his first public appearances as commissioner, at the Honolulu Quarterback Club. "I got a job at a small radio station at Prescott, Ariz., and I remember doing the high school football coaches show."
And then it was off to Montana, to Iowa, to California. To Hawaii -- "and getting a chance to do so much here. Everything from writing for MidWeek, to covering games on television and radio ... politics. And now it has all led to this opportunity to be the next commissioner of the PacWest Conference."
Now that's a story.
OK. So how did it happen?
Hogue would later say he applied to be the women's basketball coach at Hawaii Pacific University, along the way someone saw his résumé and said, "Well, what about ...?" Several interviews later, impressing school presidents along a national search, here he is.
So the guy we all think of as the friendly sportscaster did some time as a state senator and now he's commissioner of a college-sports conference.
(Yesterday, I asked him: We always hear WAC commish Karl Benson doing the morning-radio rounds -- would Hogue interview himself?)
And you know what? It's so crazy it just might work. He talks about wearing a lot of hats, and he's worn several. He's a people guy. He had a good speech. He talks about working with and for young people, of the "purity of competition" in NCAA Division II.
As Rodney Dangerfield said in "Back to School," "He really seems to care."
"We want to bring back the exciting level of competition," Hogue said. "People talk about the stories of Chaminade, HPU games, or BYU-Hawaii and Hilo, the standing-room only ... we want to bring that level of excitement back again."
And Hawaii Loa. The Mongoose! Wasn't somebody the Mongoose?
That was fun. But those glory days were long ago.
But if what is now known as the PacWest Conference is hoping to attain anything approaching that level of public consciousness again, it should be based in Hawaii, where its heart -- Chaminade, Brigham Young-Hawaii, Hawaii-Hilo, HPU -- resides.
It needs a commissioner eager to beat the drum like this is his dream job.
Bob Hogue? The friendly sportscaster? The commissioner?
What? How did that happen?
"When you go back and look at the things I've done in my life," Hogue would say after his speech, "I've been a CPA, that fits in perfectly.
"I've been a sportscaster, that fits in perfectly.
"I've been a legislator, that fits in perfectly.
"I've been a fundraiser, in my campaigns, that fits in perfectly.
"I've been a coach, that fits in perfectly."
It's crazy. What not? The kind of crazy that just might work.