Will McMackin allow 'The Genius' to run D?


POSTED: Thursday, February 18, 2010

After you go 6-7 in college football and miss a bowl game, you probably want to make some moves. So Greg McMackin shuffled his staff.

If I had a dime for every time I've heard the Hawaii head coach refer to Dave Aranda as a genius … well, I could buy you and me each a soda. He said it after every game.

McMackin obviously has a world of confidence in Aranda. Why else would he promote the young defensive line coach to coordinator, a post previously held by McMackin's long-time friend Cal Lee?

McMackin seemed as impressed by Aranda's energy as much as his acumen, and gave him more responsibility as last season went along. Aranda got a lot of the credit for UH's great defensive effort against Navy's option.

Who would've thought that before the start of McMackin's third season he'd have taken the play-calling duties from Ron Lee, whom he described as his “;offensive coordinator for life,”; and demoted Ron's brother Cal? It was a strange situation from the beginning, as McMackin retained defensive play-calling responsibilities; Cal Lee's role seemed more adviser than coordinator.

Now, how much room will McMackin give Aranda?

And you had to know Tony Tuioti would eventually get to the field. He's probably a better fit as a defensive line coach than head of recruiting; he was in the trenches for UH as a defensive tackle himself, and he's still young enough to relate to the players. George Lumpkin was June Jones' recruiting coordinator; now we'll see how he does on a second go-round — this time without having to be a position coach, too.

Since Tuioti is technically coming from off the coaching staff, the job had to be posted. That brings into play those pesky state hiring rules, and that's why no one at UH wants to be quoted about the changes.

» Another class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame was announced today, and Les Murakami is still not in. He wasn't even on the ballot again.

I was ready to rip into the person or people responsible for this, but then had a very pleasant phone conversation with Hall of Fame chairman Mike Gustafson in Lubbock, Texas. Gustafson said the UH coaching legend is “;in the queue,”; and that he expects Murakami will be on next year's ballot.

Now it's up to the UH media relations department to help Gustafson remind (and in some cases, inform) the voters of Murakami's incredible record, and how he built the Manoa program into a Division I powerhouse.

Rainbows All-American pitcher Derek Tatsuno is in the hall, which was started in 2006.

» Craig Stutzmann's name keeps popping up for Saint Louis School football coach.

Nothing official has come from the Crusaders yet, not even acknowledgment that athletic director Ulima Afoa and football coach John Hao have been asked to resign. But multiple sources told the Star-Bulletin and other media outlets last week that changes are imminent.

Stutzmann looks like a good option, with his variety of experiences at Saint Louis as a player and coach, and on the college level at UH and Portland State. Hard to find anyone who doesn't like and respect him.

» Davone Bess continues to contribute to the Hawaii community whenever he can. The Miami Dolphins and former Warriors receiver plans to spend Saturday at the Waikiki Aquarium with children with cancer and their families.


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