From stadium to funding woes: Next UH athletic director faces no shortage of challenges

The University of Hawaii at Manoa could soon have a new athletics director
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 4:20 PM HST|Updated: May. 17, 2023 at 4:26 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii at Manoa could soon have a new athletics director.

The school’s Board of Regents will vote Thursday on whether to confirm Craig Angelos for the position.

He’s currently the deputy athletic director at Long Island University and helped build a 30,000-seat stadium during his tenure at Florida Atlantic.

If selected, he’ll have to oversee a similar endeavor for the Rainbow Warriors football team, which currently plays at the TC Ching Athletics complex.

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Former UH Athletic Director Ben Jay spoke with Hawaii News Now ahead of the upcoming vote and says he’s confident in Angelos.

Jay led the department from 2012 to June 2015 and says the biggest challenges from his tenure still exist: Finding a permanent, viable stadium for the program and building connections with lawmakers and donors.

“You’re always a little short on resources and things so you have to get creative about some of the things you do,” said Jay, who is executive director of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which oversees U.S. Bank Stadium.

“You need to meet the people in the community who can help you with that and so, I think getting to know a lot of the right people is going to be very important to him and very quickly in the first 90 days.”

Jay adds that building a new facility at the current Aloha Stadium site is the best long-term solution.

But right now, state officials say it wouldn’t be ready until fall 2028.

“It just brings more people to the islands,” Jay explained.

“It brings people together on the islands and I think we can’t lose sight of that. This is not just a football stadium for 7, 8 home games. This is much more for the state of Hawaii.”

UH Regents are meeting Thursday at Honolulu Community College.

If confirmed, Angelos would start June 5.