Kalani Simpson


By Kalani Simpson

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

New coach and new
stadium name overdue

AT Rainbow Stadium on that magical Saturday night, the man gestured toward the playing field and asked a question: "What's the big secret?"

He said a few other words, words that we won't use here, words that let you know he felt very strongly about the subject. But he had a valid inquiry. What is the big secret?

I don't know.

There are many people who feel that Pat Murphy of Arizona State will be the next Rainbow baseball coach. But there has been no announcement from the University of Hawaii.

Some say that it's a done deal, that Murphy is coming.

Others say that others have said that Murphy's wife has said that he's not going anywhere.

Some say that others have said that it's Murphy's job if he wants it, but Murphy doesn't want it, but they want it, and when Murphy turns it down, they'll take it.

What a muddle of rumors and hearsay and guesses.

Maybe that's the big secret -- that nobody knows what's going on for sure.

It wouldn't surprise me if we're not just waiting for an announcement, but we're also still waiting for somebody to be hired. Does someone have a deal in front of them? Maybe. Have they taken it? Maybe not. And to take the speculation one step further, what if after all this time the guy decides he likes it where he is? At this late date, what does UH do then?

Is any of this stuff that I know?


But here's the one thing we do know: UH doesn't have a coach. The position is empty, the job is vacant, the program is without a leader.

And the clock is ticking.

As of Saturday, Les Murakami is retired, and this was acting head coach Carl Furutani's last season with the 'Bows.

The "mystery coach" isn't here yet.

And the team waits.

The state waits.

We all wait.

What's the big secret? I don't know.

This job has attracted a ton of interest from all across the country, a Who's Who of the baseball community -- including a handful of tantalizing local prospects.

Everybody wants this job. People are tripping over themselves to get their applications in. Good people. Surprisingly good people. You could have thrown a dart and picked an excellent coach.

But one by one -- and we heard mostly about the local guys -- candidates were scratched off the list.

Now the season is over. And all we know is that the Rainbows still don't have a coach.

UH is following its plan.

Let's hope it works.

THE OTHER BIG baseball issue is the naming of Rainbow Stadium for Murakami. Of course they should. Why is there even a question?

The only thing that bothers me is removing the "Rainbow" from the stadium. If it isn't Rainbow Stadium, it's that much easier to dress the 'Bows in black and give them the same nickname as Lewis-Clark State.

My father came up with this compromise: "Les Murakami's Rainbow Stadium." Nice, no? That way, even if it somehow doesn't get renamed officially, the radio and TV voices can still refer to it as "Les Murakami's Rainbow Stadium."

Because that's what it is.

Kalani Simpson's column runs Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
He can be reached at

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