Matlin meets with UH football team, confident in ‘expeditious’ coaching search

Sports

UH football players gather for a Wednesday meeting with David Matlin (Rob DeMello/KHON2)

David Matlin’s second search for a new UH football head coach during his tenure as athletics director promises to be far different from the first time around.

Given the unique timing of Nick Rolovich’s Jan. 13 departure to Washington State, Matlin understands that the Feb 5. National Letter of Intent signing day is quickly approaching. Although he wants the process to move quickly, he also wants to make the best decision for the long haul.

“Our goal is we want to be expeditious. We want this done quickly. More importantly, we want to get the right person,” Matlin told KHON2’s Rob DeMello on Wednesday evening. “We know National Letter of Intent day is out there so that’s a factor. But at the end of the day, the goal is to get the best coach for our student athletes, our university and the state of Hawaii.”

Matlin met with current members of the team on Wednesday, the first time the team has gathered since Rolovich’s departure on Monday. Monday was also the first day of the UH-Manoa spring semester.

Following the news of Rolovich’s departure, the search immediately began for his replacement. Although Matlin is not allowed to give specifics, the interest in the position is certainly plentiful.

“The interest we’ve gotten either by the phone or emails and with applications, we’re getting some really quality candidates,” Matlin acknowledged. “Nick’s did a great job the last four years. We’re in a much better position than before Nick came here. This is a good situation to be in because Nick left because of success.

“The coaching staff did a great job and obviously they get a lot of credit. I think it says that the program is in a good position, now we gotta maintain it and take it to the next level.”

As Matlin eluded to, the search to land Rolovich in 2015 came following a 3-10 season and the firing of Norm Chow in November. This time around, the search follows Rolovich leaving for greener pastures in January. The process will have to be accelerated, but Matlin is confident he and his staff will find the correct fit.

“I’m hopeful. We have a timeline, an ambitious timeline that would allow us to do that,” Matlin said. “There are things that you can’t control, though, that can delay certain things. But I’m confident that we’ve put ourselves in a position to make that happen.

“We have a good team here. It’s not just a ‘me’ thing, there’s a lot of people that have a role of doing their due diligence and doing their work. This is a 24/7 deal right now. You get on the phone early in the morning because you can talk to the East Coast starting at 3 in the morning so you do what you need to do. But like I said, we divide and conquer and everyone has a role.”

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