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University of Hawaii Football

Hawaii Warriors Football

The University of Hawaii football program is an NCAA Division I college football team most commonly known as the Hawai’i Warriors.

Hawaii’s football team has existed since 1909 and has a career 510-381-26 record. These days, the Hawaii Warriors compete in the Western Athletic Conference, generally known as the WAC.

Hawaii University football has a proud and growing tradition, despite facing recruiting challenges being 5 times zones away from the American Eastern Seaboard and therefore seldom seen by a national audience.

Bringing athletes into Hawaii from the North American mainland for recruiting visits is also a challenge, though it must be said, some athletes might prefer to go to college near the Honolulu beaches, instead of some snow-whipped school in the American Rust Belt.

Over the past ten years, the University of Hawaii football squad has gotten national attention, after June Jones brought a pro style offense to the Hawaiian Isles. June Jones was a former NFL head coach and offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1990s, as well as interim head coach of the San Diego Chargers six games into the 1998 NFL Season. During his time in the National Football League, June Jones became famous for his version of the run-and-shoot offense.

Hawaii Warriors Under June Jones

June Jones immediately turned around the Warriors’ football program, posting a 9-3 record and a WAC Conference title after the team had lost 18 straight games under its previous head coach.

Jones would coach offensive stars like Timmy Chang, Colt Brennan and Davone Bess during his time at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. (Manoa is the full name, a reference to a suburb of Honolulu, Hawaii.) During his 9 years with the program, the Hawaii football team would field 5 All-Americans and 52 all-conference players in the WAC.

In 2008, June Jones left the school to take the head coaching job at S.M.U. in Dallas, Texas. Coach Jones stated the university gave him a lack of support, though he also more than doubled his coaching salary. Jones would be replaced by Greg McMackin, who served on the previous staff as Hawaii’s Defensive Coordinator. Over the first year and a half of McMackin’s tenure, the Hawaii Warriors are 7-7.

University of Hawaii Football Rivals

The chief rival for Hawaii over the past couple of decades had been BYU. Surprisingly, Hawaii has a large Mormon population which followed the game closely. Since BYU won about 2/3rds of the games, this was a one-sided rivalry much of the time. The University of Hawaii and Brigham Young University stopped playing one another every year in 2002, several years after BYU left for the Mountain West Conference.

Naturally, opponents in the Western Athletic Conference have become rivals of the University of Hawaii football program. The most heated of these rivalries is with Fresno State, a longtime rival in the WAC and one of the better teams in the conference over that period.

In fact, coaches from both squads have made accusations against the other university and their fans during the last ten years, as both schools have their share of rowdy hometown fans. The Bulldogs won in an embarrassing fashion in 2006, giving the Warriors a 56 point drubbing. The Warriors returned the favor the next year, putting up 68 points in a 31-pt defeat of Fresno State in 2007.

Boise State is another rival of the University of Hawaii football team. Boise State has been a nemesis over the years, defeating Hawai’i 7 straight times in their first 7 years in the WAC. Hawaii finally defeated Boise State in June Jones’ last year with the squad.

Undefeated 2007 Regular Season

Lead by Colt Brennan at quarterback and Davone Bess at wide receiver, the 2007 season saw the Hawaii Warriors finish the regular season undefeated. Ranked #12 by the BCS, Hawaii became one of only 3 non-BCS schools to ever play in one of the prestigious BCS Bowl Games. Unfortunately, Hawaii lost to the Georgia Bulldogs 41-10 in that game, the 2008 Sugar Bowl.

University of Hawaii Football Future

Hawaii has one of the unique football programs in college football. While this WAC power is unlikely to ever become one of the NCAA’s national powers, the Hawai’i Warriors should remain a perennial contender in the WAC Conference for many years to come.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 at 3:55 pmand is filed under College Football, Football. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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