Lawmakers say UH coach’s resignation is ‘best decision’ for football program

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 10:33 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Many feel University of Hawaii head coach Todd Graham resigning is the best decision for the state’s football program.

“I was hoping for something like this, but you never know, and I wasn’t sure if he was going to fight it,” said State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim. “I have to congratulate all who were able to get this to this point.”

“I just think that, you know, for the sake of the student athletes and the university, that we move forward on this and lessons learned,” Kim added.

While some were surprised by Graham’s announcement, others said they saw it coming.

“I knew something had to give,” said State Sen. Kurt Favella. “A community came out very strongly, voicing their opinion all over social media.”

“I don’t think he enjoyed the informational hearing. I think that was very difficult for him,” said ESPN Radio Host, Bobby Curran. “And I think he probably thought what most of us think. I think he’s a good football coach, but I think it was a bad fit.”

If Graham had not stepped down, Kim said lawmakers would have had to start a lengthy process into firing him, or buying him out, which would have involved UH’s Board of Regents

“I know that Regents were planning on either investigating or are looking into it,” said Kim. “And of course, you know, that means I would have to talk with all of those people and others that have reached out to us or have sent in any kind of written statements.”

“[It’s] saving the taxpayers money, which is great,” said Favella.

For now, Linebacker’s Coach Jacob Yoro will serve as interim head coach.

But UH’s next game is set for Aug. 27 on the home turf against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Curran said the university needs to act fast to find a full-time replacement.

“I’m glad it happened now, because we have that second Signing Day coming up the end of the first week in February,” explained Curran. “I think it’s critical that this program get back on track, new blood is going to be able to attract players.”

“I don’t know who it will be, but my guess is it’ll be something closer to an offense that Hawaii people have come to love,” said Curran.

Earlier this week, Graham announced he was waiving the $20,000 bonus he was entitled to for making it to the Hawaii Bowl even though the team did not play.

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