Matlin looks back on first year as Hawaii's athletics director - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Matlin looks back on first year as Hawaii's athletics director

University of Hawaii AD David Matlin University of Hawaii AD David Matlin
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

On March 25, 2015, David Matlin was named the University of Hawaii's new athletics director.

Now, a year later, Matlin says he's finally found his footing.

"The job has a lot of highs, and quite a few lows, too," said Matlin. "I think the key is not getting too high on the highs and too low on the lows."

At times, it's something that's been easier said than done for Matlin. Since accepting the job, he's had to tackle budget issues, NCAA sanctions, and coaching searches for two of the school's marquee programs, but one of those hires has already made program history. 

"Eran has done a terrific job, and he's hired good people," said Matlin. "Eran's a character guy, and that's what he's about. I knew he'd work hard, and I know his character is true."

Ganot speaks just as highly of the man who helped him return to the Rainbow Warrior basketball program. 

"He's inspiring, he's our leader, and it starts there," said Ganot. "His approach is the right approach. His approach is one of fighting, of battle, of doing things right, of professionalism."

Last spring, just weeks after beginning his tenure in Manoa, Matlin nearly lost the coach of the school's other basketball team; Laura Beeman, according to media reports, was a finalist for the vacant coaching position at the University of Utah before withdrawing her name from consideration.

"Dave basically said, 'You know, we're not going to be able to pay you what Utah is going to pay you, but you're valued here,'" Beeman recalled. "And for someone just to say that, with the honesty that he did, really meant a lot to me."

Matlin's leadership approach has also impressed the most storied coach in school history.

"It's a tough job, money's tight, but you know, he's a likeable guy, he's an honest guy, so I think everybody's kind of bought into what he's talking about," said Rainbow Wahine volleyball coach Dave Shoji. "So I just think it's tremendous." 

Matlin, with plenty of challenges ahead in his second year on the job, says his main goal remains constant.

"All really I wanna do is just, whatever role I'm in, whether it's running a bowl game, when I worked in a brick yard in college," said Matlin, "is just make a difference."

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