After BOR approval vote, UH-Manoa’s next athletic director pledges to hit ground running

After hours of debate behind closed doors, the UH Board of Regents voted Thursday to approve Craig Angelos as Manoa’s next athletics director.
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 12:37 PM HST|Updated: May. 19, 2023 at 6:35 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After hours of debate behind closed doors, the UH Board of Regents voted Thursday to approve Craig Angelos as Manoa’s next athletics director.

Eight voted yes, two voted no and one abstained.

Some Regents raised concerns about the university’s process for analyzing candidates for the position.

Following the vote, Angelos pledged to hit the ground running with a focus on capital improvements and fundraising. He also acknowledged that he has work to do as an outsider coming in.

WATCH: Craig Angelos outlines top priorities as next UH Athletics Director

Angelos acknowledges there is much to learn about Hawaii's culture, and says he's willing and ready to dive in and build connections.

“A haole coming in from the outside for me makes it a little more difficult of a transition,” he said.

“I know I’ve got a lot to learn, listen. And I know if I do that and they recognize that I’m humble coming into this process and wanting to learn, listen and grow then I think I’ll mesh pretty well.”

Angelos is currently the deputy athletic director at Long Island University and helped secure funding for a 30,000-seat stadium during his time at Florida Atlantic University.

Those close to the UH program say finding a permanent stadium for the Rainbow Warriors will need to be among his top priorities. And Angelos agreed, saying he’ll also be focused on fundraising.

“It’s going to take a lot of people working together,” he said, to make the new Aloha Stadium a reality. “We’ve got to be unified in our approach. If we’re aligned ... we can accomplish a lot of things.”

Angelos’ only experience of Hawaii before this appointment was when he played at the UH baseball stadium as a first basemen with BYU. He said he made a “towering drive” toward left field and thought it would be a home run, but the “Manoa mist” blew it back into the outfield.

He said coming to Hawaii as Athletic Director is finally the home run he was hoping for here.

During his news conference, he deflected questions about the challenge of operating without a permanent stadium, but also described the FAU stadium project as a public-private project that generated money for the stadium from revenue from student housing on the site. Governor Josh Green has similar hopes for affiliated development at the Aloha Stadium site in Halawa.

He said one of his primary goals would be to “raise a lot of money,” and said he has already begun networking via phone and text and plans to ask for donations across the community.

Rich Miano, former UH coach and NFL player, said Angelos will need to work quickly to make connections in the community and build goodwill.

“It’s just a matter of how quickly he can acclimate himself,” he said. “And just because you wear slippers doesn’t mean you have aloha.”

Angelos expected to start June 5 and his salary will be $325,212, the same as for departing AD David Matlin.