McMackin hires Aranda to coach defensive line
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Though Dave Aranda's family hasn't had much time to get settled over his coaching journey, they're looking forward to following the Hawaii football team's new defensive line coach to his latest destination.
"My wife, when we were here before, loved it," Aranda said. "(His daughters) both just love to run around and play outside. Right now in Cleveland, Miss., it's 20 degrees and it was freezing rain yesterday. So they're very excited to get out here."
At 31, Aranda is entering his 13th year of coaching and joins the UH staff after serving as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Division II Delta State. His hiring leaves first-year head coach Greg McMackin, immersed in a key recruiting weekend, with one more spot to fill on his staff.
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After jumping around the map for much of his coaching career, Dave Aranda is looking to make his latest stop a lasting one.
Position: University of Hawaii defensive line coach
Family: Wife, Dione. Daughters, Jaelyn (2), Jordyn (1).
College: Graduated from California Lutheran with a degree in philosophy; earned a master's degree from Texas Tech in interdisciplinary studies.
Coaching: Assistant coach, Redlands High, 1995; assistant coach, California Lutheran, 1996-99; graduate assistant, Texas Tech, 2000-02; linebackers coach, Houston, 2002-03; defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Cal Lutheran, 2005-06; co-defensive coordinator/secondary, Delta State, 2007
Little-known fact: Coached Aaron Hunt, the Big 12's all-time sack leader, at Texas Tech.
Aranda, making his second job change in less than a month, will join the Hawaii football team's staff as defensive line coach this season. The Hawaii job is Aranda's sixth stop since 2000, though the last didn't last very long at all.
Following a season in which he helped Division II Delta State to a conference title, Aranda was just settling into his role as defensive coordinator at Southern Utah when new Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin came calling. Now the 31-year-old plans on getting comfortable in the islands.
"I'm glad to have finally found a place. My wife and I, we have two little girls, and we've been moving around really too much," Aranda said yesterday. "So it's nice to settle down and keep the winning tradition going on here at Hawaii."
Aranda fills the vacancy left when Jeff Reinebold joined former UH coach June Jones at Southern Methodist, and is looking forward to meeting with the returning Warrior linemen this week while helping with the ongoing recruiting process.
Aranda's connection with McMackin goes back to Texas Tech, where he spent three years working with the then-Red Raiders defensive coordinator as a graduate assistant, concentrating on the defensive ends.
"I'm thankful to be here, it's good to be reunited with Coach McMackin for sure," he said.
"I know it's going to be a great situation with a lot of guys returning and a lot of talent. I know Coach McMackin is very excited about the front seven. I'm looking forward to it."
Aranda served as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Delta State last season, where he helped the Statesmen to a 10-2 record and a Gulf South Conference title. The Statesmen led Division II in pass efficiency defense and were second in total and scoring defense.
He was then named defensive coordinator at Southern Utah by new Thunderbirds coach Ed Lamb early this month. But the call from McMackin resulted in an abrupt change of plans.
"(Lamb) was very understanding with the whole situation here in Hawaii and Coach McMackin and knew our prior relationship," Aranda said. "I owe a lot to him for being that way. It could have been a very tough situation but because of Coach Lamb it wasn't -- it was a very easy decision."
Prior to his year at Delta State, Aranda was defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Division III California Lutheran. There he crossed paths with Brian Smith, who was named UH offensive line coach last week, in 2005. The duo will see a lot of each other once practice starts when the lines go up against each other in one-on-one drills.
Aranda's previous experience in Hawaii came as a linebackers coach with Houston in the 2003 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. UH edged the Cougars in triple overtime in a game that ended with an on-field brawl.
"It really was a great experience being down for the bowl game. What an unfortunate way to end the game, what an ugly incident, but I try not to let that mar the experience here," he said.
"It's kind of been the same question, 'Have you ever been down here?' and I mention that game and they all go back to the fight."
After graduating from high school in 1994, Aranda's college playing career lasted "three days," cut short by a shoulder injury. He then returned to Redlands High as an assistant, starting his coaching journey in 1995.
Aranda is the third coach to be hired by McMackin, joining Smith and quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich. Cal and Ron Lee, George Lumpkin and Rich Miano are also expected to remain with the staff, leaving McMackin with one more spot to fill.
"I'm really excited to be working with them," Aranda said. "The water is nice and the landscape is nice, but it's really the people that make or break where you're at."