By Dave Reardon
What are your sports hopes and expectations for 2014?
Here are a few of mine:
1. That Norm Chow realizes how important it is to have at least one assistant coach on staff who was a player and student at the school you are trying to recruit to. With the release of Tony Tuioti, there is no regular coaching staff member who played for UH. Lance Samuseva and Richard Torres should get strong consideration as hires for the defensive staff opening. Neither played linebacker, which is where the opening is, so that could be seen as a stumbling block for hiring them unless some juggling can be done. By the way, I've heard there may be more changes.
2. That whoever is hired as new defensive coordinator is capable of becoming at least interim head coach if necessary. If Hawaii starts out 1-5 or 0-6 in 2014 the head coach should be replaced at midseason.
3. Better attendance for a deserving UH basketball team.
As was mentioned in today's column, in its next TV negotiation UH should give itself the leeway to NOT televise events live if it will significantly hurt attendance. This can be worked out fairly easily for the arena sports with compensation for the TV partner if it loses a live event.
4. That Kolten Wong has a strong rookie year for the St. Louis Cardinals. It should be noted that the second base job is not necessarily his to lose, as the Cardinals recently picked up capable veteran Mark Ellis. But Wong is still the second-sacker of the future, if not the present.
5.. That the OIA and ILH merge for football. Three divisions. This way Kamehameha, Saint Louis and Punahou can play appropriate competition during the regular season — teams like Kahuku, Mililani, Farrington. The two-division model is not working. There are too many mismatches and forfeits.
6. That there will be real progress on when and where a new stadium will be built.