Donovan extends Trapasso


POSTED: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mike Trapasso accepted a one-year contract extension to return for his ninth season as Hawaii's head baseball coach yesterday.

Trapasso, 245-216 in his tenure, will be given a rollover year from his current contract after Hawaii finished 32-26 this season.

Athletic director Jim Donovan cited increased revenues estimated at $100,000 from tickets and concessions and an average attendance of 2,990 tickets issued, the most in 12 years, among the reasons for the extra year.

“;I feel we'll do what's necessary in the best interest for the baseball program and the athletic department and I think extending Mike is the right thing to do,”; Donovan said.

Trapasso did not return phone calls seeking comment, but said in a press release, “;I'm excited about the extension and already look forward to the first day of practice next season. We've got a lot of work to do and it begins on the recruiting trail as we prepare for 2010.”;

Trapasso was given a list of expectations for the just-completed season. Hawaii failed to earn an NCAA postseason berth, but the Rainbows did finish the season with an RPI of 69, the highest in the WAC, and were at one point ranked No. 20 in Baseball America.

“;I believe you shoot for the stars and if you hit the moon that's pretty good,”; Donovan said. “;He did hit the moon in that regard with the goals I have given him.”;

Donovan said he talked with Trapasso heading into the beginning of WAC play and made it known he was leaning toward extending him for a year.

At that time, Hawaii was 16-9 after winning 13 of 16 games and was on the verge of cracking into the national polls.

“;Told (Trapasso) before he went into WAC what I was sort of thinking, so in that sense he had an idea that I was looking at keeping him because I was happy with how he did in that tough preseason schedule,”; Donovan said. “;It wasn't a set deal because he didn't say for sure that he would take it.”;

The Rainbows finished the season losing seven of their final nine WAC games and had to scratch their way into the WAC tournament.

Four-time defending WAC champion Fresno State eliminated Hawaii, which finished 1-2 in the tournament held last week at Les Murakami Stadium.

Donovan said Hawaii's performance in the tournament had no bearing on Trapasso's contract situation.

“;Not at all,”; Donovan said. “;And not really for me because I was already leaning this way based on what the goals were I asked him to get done.”;

Donovan declined to specify a number of wins or other goals, including a postseason berth, Trapasso needs to reach to extend his contract after 2010.

“;I asked him to put together another tough nonconference schedule and he's done that,”; Donovan said.

“;There's no way that we won't come out of the preseason with having a decent RPI if we win. Hopefully we go into the WAC and we're successful and we're talking about right now (this time next year) where we're leaving for regionals.”;

Next year's schedule includes NCAA Regional participants Cal State Fullerton and Oregon State as well as Stanford, USC, Long Beach State and Oregon.