CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Acting UH athletic director Carl Clapp said yesterday that a search committee is being formed to find a new football coach.
Clapp getting busy as acting AD
Carl Clapp's approach to hiring a new football coach at the University of Hawaii might be characterized by a signature saying from John Wooden.
"Be quick -- but don't hurry."
In his role as acting UH athletic director, Clapp's most pressing priority will be spearheading the process of finding a successor to June Jones.
But along with keeping sight of the tight time frame -- the signing period for incoming recruits is less than a month away -- there's also the balance of finding the right fit for the role.
When asked yesterday when he hoped to have a new coach for the department's flagship program in place, Clapp responded, "about an hour ago."
But he later cautioned that, "the most important thing is to get the right person, however long that may take."
Clapp, who was in his second year as an associate athletic director, was named acting athletic director by UH-Manoa chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, pending approval by the UH Board of Regents.
He will oversee the day-to-day operation of the department encompassing 20 sports as well as coordinate the search for a new football coach. The appointment means shepherding the department through a turbulent period that has seen the departure of two of its most high-profile figures.
After leading the Warriors football team to a 12-1 season capped by a Sugar Bowl berth, June Jones accepted the head coaching job at Southern Methodist on Monday. Two days later, the school announced that it would buy out the remainder of athletic director Herman Frazier's contract.
"You just manage change," Clapp said. "When you're in intercollegiate athletics in this type of career, you get challenges all the time in different things that come up."
Both Clapp's appointment and Frazier's settlement are pending approval by the Board of Regents.
In a press conference yesterday at the Stan Sheriff Center, Clapp mentioned the department will continue to compile a "comprehensive list of what the facility needs are" and address the school's radio and television contracts.
But the football coaching search will put the previous behind-the-scenes performer squarely in the spotlight.
Some 30 applications for the football coach position had been received by yesterday afternoon. According to the job posting, review of applications will start on Jan. 15.
Clapp confirmed that a search committee is being assembled, though the specifics had not been finalized.
"We would like to get an individual who has got the ability to assure a smooth transition to our current team members," Clapp said of the new coach.
"They need to fit in Hawaii," he later added. "This is a very special place. I think that will be something a committee will hold to."
While Clapp will be at the head of the search, he said Hinshaw would be closely involved and he would seek input from others as well.
"I see myself as steward and a facilitator in a lot of ways here and I do want to gather the input and contributions of others," Clapp said.
"I'm going to welcome a lot of involvement. Believe me, by the number of e-mails coming in, there's people that do wish to at least have their voice heard."
Both Clapp and associate AD John McNamara said it would be premature to comment on whether they would be candidates for the full-time job.