HONOLULU (KHON2) — The University of Hawaii (UH) is expediting the hiring of a soccer coach to replace Todd Graham, acting quickly to maximize the recruiting window for players and shorten the usual college hiring timeline. Always Investigating has the details.
KHON2 also learned that while the appointment will not be vetted in an open committee, the athletic director is working with a group of advisers the university will not name before a hiring is made. A new coach may be coming this week.
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Never had before Graham retired on Friday January 14th, then his job went up for grabs on the UH career portal. However, candidates had to act quickly. The assessment of applicants started Wednesday afternoon – a period of 5 days.
“National Letter of Intent Day is on February 2,” said UH spokesman Dan Meisenzahl. “This vacancy must be filled as soon as possible.”
So fast that the largest union of public workers, of which coaches are members, had to sign an exception to the 1.Minimum Requirement for 0 Days University Vacancies.
“Given the nature of Coach Graham’s departure and the need to quickly appoint a Head Coach as recruitment is critical, the HGEA has agreed with UH to waive the normal vacancy period in favor of an accelerated 5 day secondment said HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira.
The university said an exception to the EEO or Equal Employment Opportunity office is not necessary.
“The policy was followed. Nothing was violated,” Meisenzahl said. “This isn’t the first time we’ve had this kind of urgent hire. We’re going to do well. We are not going to rush the process.”
Lawmakers who grievance UH about the struggles in the team under Graham said the process is moving too fast and there is too much behind the curtain.
“Athletic Director (David) Matlin always works with a team of advisors and seeks advice and consults others including local business leaders, former players,” explains Meisenzahl. “This particular process, the deadline is so tight, he’s still working with a group of people to make sure he selects the right person.”
Always inquiringly asked who is in that group of advisors this time?
“We’re not going to name names,” Meisenzahl said. “Maybe we can after the process is done, but because I think everyone knows who is following this process, there’s an incredible amount of pressure for people who think they know who the next coach should be. We don’t want people who AD Matlin also advises falling under the influence, he wants to talk to people without fear of their name coming out.”
The coaching hire must be approved by UH President David Lassner.
“It is clear that President Lassner is fully involved in this process with Athletic Director Matlin and his team,” Meisenzahl added.
Regents must agree to large pay scales and any contract of more than five years.
Some lawmakers said it is not too late for an open screening panel with an appointed committee.
“I hope they bring in enough people and the right people to help them make the right selection,” said Dela Cruz. “Looking at someone’s past, looking at their potential and looking at their history at other universities or other organizations and the impact they had, and hopefully a positive impact and make sure that’s the right match for the university and for the state. ”
UH claims that the 5 day application period is sufficient in a case like this because the track is so prominent.
“This didn’t just come out of the blue, there was a lot of national coverage around the football team, unfortunately for the wrong reasons,” Meisenzahl continued. “I think it’s common knowledge that the head coach position has been opened at the University of Hawaii. I don’t think we had to do much to advertise it. And also, from the responses we’ve received, we know that coaches who may be looking for an opportunity were aware of the position, so I don’t think we’ll be short of candidates.”
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UH won’t say how many have signed up so far. The vacancy is marked “continuous recruitment”, which means after Wednesday evening:
“Of course, someone can be hired at any time after this. But at the same time, more people could sign up,” Meisenzahl said. “And if (University of Alabama) Nick Saban applies for the job as head coach at UH football, you know, we can stop what we’re doing and look at those applicants. Anything can happen, someone can be offered a job, it doesn’t work, more applications are coming in.”