UH football fans close out season, look forward to next year wit - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH football fans close out season, look forward to next year with new coach

AIEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

There were tailgaters as usual. But there was a lot of space in the parking lot of Aloha Stadium an hour before kickoff for the last game of the season for the University of Hawaii football team.

A day after UH named former quarterback and assistant coach Nick Rolovich as the new head coach, die-hard fans are sticking by the time -- and talking about 2016.

"This year has been a tough year for UH but I believe that next year is going to be a great year," said fan Guy Akahoshi.

It's been nearly a month since Norm Chow was sacked as head coach following a blowout loss to Air Force. The team's struggles also have included falling attendance, with Aloha Stadium an ocean of empty seats as fans deserted. Last week's home game had just over 11,000 fans in a stadium that can hold 50,000.

Will new head coach Nick Rolovich bring those fans back?

"I think any change at this point would bring fans back," said Grant Taura, tailgating with a group of friends.

And is Rolo the right man for the job? After all, former head coach June Jones and former associate head coach Rich Miano were among the finalists for the job, and were mentioned by fans as good replacements.

"It could have been any one of those guys to me," said Gary Kwock. "But with Rolo, they got the youth. I think he can relate to these guys even better."

"He's a good young coach. And I think, you know, June Jones  have been a good pick, but begin that Rolo is only 36, he's young, he's hungry," said Taura.

The university will formally introduce Rolovich at a news conference scheduled for Monday.

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