McLain taking active role in coaching search
At a press conference to address June Jones' departure on Monday, University of Hawaii president David McClain expressed his wish that he had monitored the school's negotiations with the former Warrior football coach more closely.
With the search for Jones' successor now under way, McClain has faith in UH-Manoa chancellor Virginia Hinshaw's leadership of the search committee. Still ...
"I'll certainly be involved," McClain said after yesterday's UH Board of Regents meeting on the Manoa campus. "But we have a very experienced academic leader in Virginia Hinshaw and she's on the case totally and I have a lot of confidence in her.
"But it's fair to say I'll be paying close attention. It's important to the state and certainly important to the university."
With two high-profile positions open, or soon to be open, McClain said the search for the football coach is first in the queue, with athletic director not far behind.
"We're just focusing all our energies right now in getting the football coach search up and running and we'll go on to the AD search, but we're already working on it," he said.
McClain said the search committee was close to being finalized and will be co-chaired by Hinshaw and acting athletic director Carl Clapp. The committee will begin the process of reviewing applications on Tuesday with an eye on the approaching signing date for incoming recruits.
"We'll see how quickly we can go," he said. "We certainly understand the recruiting deadlines. So there's lot to do in a very short space of time and we're stepping up to do that."
More than 30 candidates had applied as of Wednesday, with the current staff and the program's booster club putting their support behind defensive coordinator Greg McMackin.
To expedite the process, McClain said the school won't lock itself into a fixed proportion of state funds and donations to fund the new coach's pay. Jones' last contract of $800,016 was split between UH and donors.
Last July, the Board of Regents approved raising the pay range for the football coach to $935,544, with McClain authorized to extend that amount by 25 percent. He said the new coach's contract will be paid for by a mix of athletic department revenues, general funds from the state and donations.
"Five years ago there was this grand design that would be half donations and half with general funds and athletic department revolving funds," McClain said. "Now because we want to move quickly it's going to be a much more flexible mix. Of course, we welcome donations to the program for the purpose of supporting the coach's salary, but we're not going to be hung up on any particular proportion."
The personnel moves made within the department this week did not make it onto the agenda in time for yesterday's meeting, meaning, technically, Herman Frazier remains UH athletic director.
The $312,510 buyout of Frazier's contract announced by Hinshaw on Tuesday is pending board approval, as is Clapp's appointment as acting AD.