Hawaii’s AD hire the first step to fixing problems
As important as it was to find a suitable replacement for June Jones quickly, the need for speed need not apply for athletic director.
More names have been flying around this job than UFO sightings in central Texas. It seems a lot of folks believe they can guide and direct the University of Hawaii’s athletic department through some troubled waters, my friends, but in reality, few, if any, are qualified.
This is one of those times where you form a small committee and look for successful athletic departments in your Division I neighborhood with a budget similar to your own. And find out why.
You might even ask WAC commissioner Karl Benson if he’d be interested in the position. What’s the harm in that? And should he decline, then say inquiring minds want to know if he has a short-list of possibilities and proceed from there.
You then call the governor’s office and ask if she and key members of the state Legislature can sneak off for a late lunch with a select few UH officials and say, "OK, we all know what we want. How do we get there from here?"
It’s important that someone in that impromptu meeting lay down a list of qualifications this new athletic director must have and what background is needed to fix a rusty, busted, broken machine. As important as it is to find the right individual for the rest of this decade, the new AD’s first hire should be somebody young and local, who can learn how to handle the job on both sides of the Pacific under the wing of his employer.
That associate should have the proper prep connections to act as a liaison with his boss to ensure synergy exists on the local scene. After this one, the next AD hire should be as fast and easy as Greg McMackin’s ascent to the throne. All in favor, say Aye. Motion passes.
BUT LET’S NOT get ahead of ourselves. First of all, find somebody who has the wisdom to work through proper channels. Make sure the new kid in town speaks the local lingo -- or is given a crash course in it -- so we can move past the blue-eyed devil remarks and get down to business.
The first question asked? I’ve got a few:
"Where do we want to be in five years? How do we get there with the available funds? And is there anyway we can ask for more cash to show there is a real commitment to the most visible wing of this university?"
If the answer is no stateside, then find a way to make it so by raising money from the local movers and shakers who share the same dream as yours. That would be great. That’s the first step toward building something better than the product you are trying to sell now.
Don’t play the blame game. Don’t say Herman Frazier couldn’t do this because Hugh Yoshida didn’t do that. Enough with the past. Learn from it. Then go out and hire somebody young and enthusiastic from a viable program, who played a big part in that school’s success.
I’m not a business major with a marketing minor, but if you’ve hung around here long enough, you see the problems. And we’re not just talking about run-down facilities, those are the symptoms of a broader problem best handled by the proper authorities. All I’m saying is, take your time, get it right, put the proper people in the proper positions and then give them the resources to succeed.
Sports Editor Paul Arnett
has been covering sports for the Star-Bulletin since 1990. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org