Like the mythical bird, the Phoenix rising from the ashes, Warrior football is about to experience a rebirth and no one is more excited than the players. I sit here and type at 7 am Eastern Standard Time and feel like I will be waking my son up for Christmas morning to give him the news that Santa has arrived again! First we have to thank June Jones and all we owe him for bringing the program to grand and glorious heights. Because of him the greatly needed faciliity changes and upgrades will be a reality and the Warriors have learned a valuable lesson…they can compete with anyone in the nation. What does the appointment of Greg McMackin as head coach of Warrior football really mean?
First, as soon as he came back to paradise, there was a new energy. I know he touched even the offensive players when he told the offensive scout team the first day how important they were and he would not allow any defensive player to take cheap shots at them…he was true to his word. He complimented these players daily and inspired them to give the best look possible. A great head coach is far more than football knowledge (which McMackin is a genius!). If we go down the checklist how does McMackin come out?
1. Inspirational leader- Players must love and respect you….check!
2. You must have a solid football philosophy you live by….check!
3. A sense of humor is not a necessity but adds a special touch….check!
4. You must believe in the value of hard work….check!
5. You must inspire your assistant coaches and honor their input….check!
6. You must rally the fans, the press, recruits, team members and coaches….double check!
7. You must be organized and demand the best from those around you….check!
8. Experience is a bonus (NFL, head coach, player, DI assistant)….double check!
9. Game preparation must be a way of life and out coaching others wins the close games….check!
10. You must love where you are, you must believe in the Ohana…triple check!
There was never a choice other than this man. What can we expect to see?
The appointment of Smith and Rolovich is both refreshing, logical and brilliant!
Nick knows the system in his sleep and proved both his confidence, skill and intelligence to run the system. He is a young coach who will inspire QB’s and the entire team with his passion, love for UH and his coaching skill. An injection of youth and experience at the same time. I posted last night that I hoped UH made this hire….great move and welcome Rolo!
Smith knows our offense, our line calls and once again brings the youth and passion that mixes well with our extensive experience. These two combined with Ron Lee create a close alliance of master and pupil that brings new ideas and a cohesive offensive staff ready to bring new innovation.
Ron Lee has been the man behind the scenes who year after year formed a receiving corp that was the backbone of this offense. No matter who graduated others were ready to take their place immediately. What to expect:
1. More precision on the offense. Ron demands perfection in routes. You can make the run and shoot too complicated and less effective. Look for the running game to be a bigger part of the offense which will open whole new opportunities and adjustments.
2. More openness to change if necessary to adapt to each team week to week. This is big!
3. More receivers playing every game. Often not known to fans, many receivers played hurt or had the legs tired toward the end of the season. Ron believes that any player who has worked hard and shown himself ready in practice should get on the field and starters need to rest their legs during the game for maximum efficiency. This is great for morale and competition. Guys like Michael Washington and Aaron Bain who could have contributed more of course will be the odds on favorites to start at slots with Greg Salas and Malcolm Lane at the wide outs but expect at least four other receivers to get substantial playing time if they prove themselves in the off season and the spring.
4. Many players fighting for their chance to prove something to new coaches! Look for the most exciting spring in the history of UH football!
Cal Lee will be a proponent of McMackin’s philosophy of gap control defense with numerous zone blitzes and highly calculated risk. An attacking swarming defense that gang tackles and makes big plays with emotion!
I am not sure where Jeff Reinbold fits in, he is a fantastic coach and I hope he stays. Whatever choice he makes I wish him the best. If I were head coach I would instantly make him Recruiting Coordinator, he is a master at this!
The rest of the defensive staff is solid. Rich Miano’s knowledge of the secondary is the best and have always respected his coaching, love of the kids, and his personality and knowledge!
Lumpkin is the glue and means a lot to the kids and the coaches in solidifying the defense.
Things I hope to see:
1. A change in the home dress policy. All kids who work hard are deserving to put on the Warrior uniform, not set in the stands. Total team morale is critical right now and this would inspire even walk-ons to new heights.
2. Open up special teams to all players not just defense with only a few offensive opportunities.
3. The university come through on its promises to improve the facilities. They have a rate opportunity to show their love and support of this team and now is the time to do it.
4. Full support by all of us for this new (and old) rebirth.
Change in life is inevitable, without change their is no progress. June laid the foundation, let the transformation begin! The Phoenix has risen and is getting ready to take full flight when the sun arises on a new era in paradise. Let the games begin!
Discuss this editorial with Coach Ken and others from the Sports Hawaii Ohana: The Rebirth of Warrior Football