HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
After a month of pro-bono work, David Matlin shed his role as the state's most high-profile volunteer Monday and officially took over as athletics director at the University of Hawaii.
While technically his contract went into effect this morning, Matlin has been very busy since his hiring was announced back in March.
Since that time, he found a new men's basketball coach in Eran Ganot and convinced women's basketball coach Laura Beeman to stay in Manoa.
Now begins the work of digging the department out of the red and chipping away at a $3.5 million deficit.
As the school's third AD since 2012, Matlin is optimistic he can turn UH athletics around.
"The base here is solid," Matlin said. "I believe that. We do have a lot of work to do, but I think it's about focusing on people and everyone's trying. If we can get one-percent better a day, after a year we're 360-percent better, you know, three-and-a-half times better, so I just think it's really focusing on people and I do think there's so many positives going on here."
The other heaping issue on Matlin's plate is the school's response to the NCAA allegations levied on the men's basketball program.
The 90-day window to respond wraps up Thursday and we're told a letter will be submitted very soon.
He says the forms are being finalized and he's waiting for Ganot to get back into town to work out a few details.
Matlin wouldn't say what's been outlined, but it's appropriate for the severity of the violations.
"I wouldn't say it's alarming," Matlin said. "It's just something that is a priority. It's a priority and that process, we will deal with directly and forthright. It will be a very thoughtful response looking at it from all different angles."
UH is charged with 7-violations, four of which bring the harshest penalties.
Outgoing AD Ben Jay said self-imposed sanctions were being heavily considered, but Matlin would not say if that's being included.