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H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Thursday, December 21, 2000


Small College Notebook

Snyder, Tomey
had great rivalry

Bruce Snyder was saddened by the news that University of Arizona rival Dick Tomey resigned from his post following last month's loss to Arizona State.

Tomey said he knew during the game with the rival Sun Devils that it was time to move on after 14 seasons as the head football coach for the Wildcats.

Snyder and Tomey faced each other nine times in the heated intrastate rivalry with Snyder winning four of those.

Snyder also was 4-0-1 vs. Tomey in his five years as the head coach of California in the late 1980s.

"We had a great season-ending victory over the University of Arizona Wildcats down at their place," Snyder said. "So that was a great victory for this football team, an emotional game also.

"I was very surprised Dick announced his resignation so quickly on the heals of our game; just 30 minutes afterward. I wish he would have thought about it more. But this is a funny business that we're in."

Tomey has been linked to the University of Hawaii department, possibly as athletic director. But those closely associated with Tomey don't see that happening. They believe he will sit out next season, and get back into coaching, if the right situation comes along.

"He's a terrific guy," Snyder said, who is also uncertain what the future holds for him. Snyder has been in coaching for 38 seasons and may decide to take a different path after discussing his future with his family.

"Dick and I have been competing now for 14 years," Snyder said. "I have a lot of respect for him.

"The college coaching profession has lost a good man."

The only assistant with local ties kept by new Arizona head coach John Mackovic was Duane Akina. He was named the defensive coordinator Monday, replacing Rich Ellerson, who is now head coach at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

Virgina jet-lagged

It took the Cavaliers 20 hours to get from Charlotttesville, Va., to Honolulu due to bad weather and plane problems encountered along the way.

Virginia took a two-hour bus ride to Dulles International in Washington, D.C., before waiting another two hours for the charter plane to be ready. Once on board, the plane's computer system failed, delaying the Cavaliers another three hours. The plane also missed its scheduled de-icing. The charter flight left Dulles yesterday at 9 p.m. (EST).

Virginia head coach George Welsh, who came in a day early, didn't meet his team at the airport after the Cavaliers arrived at 2 this morning, but he was there at the hotel to greet a surprisingly refreshed group.

"They weren't that tired," Welsh said. "They slept along the way and were pretty much on an emotional high. Today will be tough. Hopefully, they'll go to bed, instead of going out tonight."

Welsh conceded Virginia waited too long to come to the islands. In retrospect, it would have been better to get here on Monday to prepare for Sunday's Oahu Bowl against No. 24 Georgia.

"I have to take part of the blame for that," Welsh said. "Tuesday is usually a heavy day for us. We'll wait to have that kind of practice tomorrow. We won't go in full pads while we're here.

"I want them to be as fresh as possible. This is a very good football team we're facing."

Johnson linked to job

Former Hawaii offensive coordinator Paul Johnson has been linked as a possible successor to fired Georgia head coach Jim Donnan, according to several published reports.

Currently the successful head coach of Division I-AA Georgia Southern, many feel Johnson would be the leading candidate if not so adamant about running the spread option offense.

Other coaches reportedly being interviewed for the head coaching position are -- Jeff Bower of Southern Mississippi, Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, Florida State offensive coordinator Mark Richt and Green Bay Packers assistant Ray Sherman.

Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin


Seasiders’ turn
to play host

Chaminade, Hawaii-Hilo and Hawaii Pacific are already done hosting their preseason basketball tournaments against NCAA Division I competition.

Starting today and running through Saturday, Brigham Young-Hawaii gets its turn.

In the opening round of the Yahoo! Sports Invitational (formerly the Pearl Harbor Invitational), the Division II Seasiders (5-0) will take on No. 13 Southern California (7-0) at 8 tonight. at Cannon Activities Center in Laie.

The other teams in the eight-team field are: No. 24 Mississippi, Iowa State, Troy State, Boise State, Brigham Young-Provo and Southern Illinois.

While the other seven schools are all quality Division I teams, BYUH coach Ken Wagner and his players are looking forward to the challenge. Tonight's matchup against USC is particularly exciting for them as the Trojans are also undefeated and one of the best teams in the ultra-competitive Pac-10 Conference.

"USC is awfully talented, big, quick and strong," Wagner said. "We're excited to play a team of that caliber.

"I expect them (his players) to come out with a lot of fire, wanting to prove they could've played at that (Div. I) level. But USC is probably bigger, stronger and more athletic, so we have to play smarter and slow down the tempo in order to have a chance."

While the other local small colleges all hosted their tournaments at or near the beginning of their respective seasons, BYUH's tournament comes less than two weeks before it begins Pacific West Conference play.

And while Wagner considers the competition a great opportunity before the PacWest schedule begins, he also admitted that his team cannot afford to lose much momentum with nine conference games on tap from Jan. 4-27.

"I don't know whether it's better to host this type of tournament later or earlier on in the season," Wagner said. "A couple of years ago, we spent so much energy in the tournament that it took us a long time to recover during the conference.

"With so many games to start our conference schedule, we need to be able to get it going early."

BYUH looks for replacement sport

With last week's announcement that it will be dropping men's soccer from its roster of NCAA Division II-sponsored sports, Brigham Young-Hawaii is actively pursuing a replacement men's program to maintain its association affiliation.

NCAA Div. II rules mandate that a school must maintain four men's and four women's sports programs in order to satisfy the association's membership requirements.

Two of the programs in the both of the respective gender divisions must be classified as team sports.

With men's soccer getting the boot, the Seasiders currently have only men's basketball as a team sport, with men's cross-country and tennis classified as individual sports.

On the women's side, BYUH has softball and volleyball as team sports, with cross-country and tennis again classified individual.

While the NCAA deadline for the Seasiders to officially declare a replacement does not occur until late summer, BYUH athletic director Randy Day said that the school will likely have to make a decision by early next year.

BYUH is currently considering men's water polo, baseball, football or volleyball as replacement options.

According to Day, water polo is the most feasible and attractive option. However, the Seasiders do not have an adequate pool facility at the present time.

"We don't want to add a sport where we're the only team sponsoring it in the state, so water polo is an attractive option with Chaminade already having it," Day said. "Though HPU has baseball, fielding a team would be more expensive than in water polo.

"Realistically, we have to make a decision sometime early next year so that we can pick a coach, recruit and gather other resources."

Brandon Lee,
Special to the Star-Bulletin

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