HONOLULU (KHON2) — University of Hawaii sports will enter a new era. Athletics Director David Matlin said he’s stepping down in June. President David Lassner said it will be tough to find a replacement.

Matlin surprised a lot of people with his announcement, leaving the job the UH president said is one of the toughest in the state. When it comes to UH sports, everyone has an opinion on how the athletics director should do the job.

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“He’s one of the most thoughtful and respected athletic directors, both regionally and nationally, and our program is in really strong shape compared to when he inherited it just about eight years ago,” said Lassner.

“It’s lonely at the top. You make decisions and you deal with the consequences, but when you’re grounded in your own belief system, I think that’s really valuable,” said UH men’s volleyball coach Charlie Wade.

Among his accomplishments, the UH men’s volleyball team won back-to-back national championships. Lassner said he’s also proud of the coaches Matlin has hired. This despite some controversy over football coach Todd Graham who wound up quitting. Along with choosing Timmy Chang to replace Graham instead of June Jones.

“They’re so dedicated to Hawaii and while we watch coaches jumping around the country for more and more money, our coaches are here because they want to be here,” said Lassner.

Lassner said he’s still trying to put together the details on choosing Matlin’s replacement. Ultimately, Lassner will have to pick someone who he will then recommend to the Board of Regents. And the board will have the final decision. Lassner said he would like to pick someone with strong Hawaii ties.

“So that doesn’t mean local necessarily, but the job is so involved in community connections. It’s hard to see somebody succeeding with no concept of who we are,” said Lassner.

Matlin makes around $300,000 a year and his contract was set to expire this year. The head of the House Higher Education Committee said she would like the selection process to be transparent, with public input.

“I would like to see students have an opportunity to weigh in, especially student athletes because this has an impact on them,” said Rep. Amy Perruso.

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Lassner said students will get a chance to weigh in.