When the University of Hawaii football team opens their 2021 home schedule against Portland State at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex on Saturday, longtime Hawaii broadcaster Kanoa Leahey will provide the soundtrack on Spectrum Sports pay-per-view.
Leahey, will take over as the play-by-play announcer for Rainbow Warriors football following the passing of Robert Kekaula earlier this year who held that position since 2011. Prior to that it was Kanoa’s father Jim Leahey who called games on TV for over 30 years.
“It’s a tremendous honor. I think it comes with a great deal of responsibility to treat that position with the respect and the craft in general with the respect that it deserves, and with the respect that it was given to it by the likes of my father and of course Robert Kekaula,” Leahey told KHON2 Sports. “I just hope to make them proud and to do justice to University of Hawaii football on Spectrum Sports.”
Kanoa, who prides himself in having learned the craft under the guidance of his father, was given his first television reporter position by Kekaula who worked with for a number of years.
Leahey, a former KHON2 Sports Director has spent a number of years as the primary play-by-play announcer for Spectrum Sports for other sports, including men’s and women’s volleyball and basketball. He will be joined by Rich Miano who will be the color commentator with Scott Robbs as sideline reporter. KHON2’s Rob DeMello will host the pregame, halftime, and postgame shows.
“I think growing up in Hawaii as sports fans and you can attest to this Rob, I think we’ve looked upon as guys who are in this industry, we’ve looked upon that position as being in many respects one of the pinnacle positions in sports broadcasting here locally. So, that is is not lost on me. I just hope that I can inherit the headset under these less than stellar circumstances obviously with what happened to Robert, but that I can provide the platform in which their passion, they’re professionalism can still be experienced.
Kickoff between the Rainbow Warriors and Portland State is schedule for 6:00pm with the Spectrum Sports pay-per-view broadcast starting at 5:15pm.
The game will be the first-ever on-campus contest at the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex. Per City and County of Honolulu mandate, spectators will not be allowed to attend Saturday’s game.
The retrofitted Clarence T.C. Ching Complex will serve as the temporary home of Rainbow Warrior football until the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District is completed. Ching Complex will hold approximately 9,000 this season when spectators are allowed to return.
UH played its home games at Aloha Stadium for the past 46 seasons. Hawai’i will play its first home game outside of Aloha Stadium since Dec. 7, 1974 when the Rainbow Warriors hosted Arizona State at Honolulu Stadium, which had served as UH’s home field from 1926-74.