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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, July 21, 2001

Stadium in his name an honor for Murakami

UH-Fresno St. football refund OK'd by Dobelle
UH to review if WAC suits it best
 •  Dobelle to request stadium's renaming

By Ferd Lewis and Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writers

Les Murakami said he is appreciative Rainbow Stadium could be named in his honor before the start of the next baseball season.

Retired UH baseball coach Les Murakami said it would be "an honor" to have Rainbow Stadium named after him.

advertiser library photo • September 1997

"It's an honor, no question," said Murakami, who headed the University of Hawai'i program as its first Division 1 baseball coach for 30 seasons until suffering a stroke Nov. 2.

"It's a nice gesture," Murakami added, noting that he and new UH president Evan Dobelle, who is streamlining the renaming process, have yet to meet.

Dobelle said he hopes to have Murakami's name on the stadium by the time the Rainbows take the field in the Jan. 30 opener against Florida State. "I think that would be appropriate," Dobelle said.

The president said he will make a formal recommendation to the Board of Regents to suspend current policy restrictions at its September meeting on Maui.

Current policy states: "Buildings, other facilities, roads and programs will not be named for living individuals and ordinarily not within five years of a person's death, except as specifically provided by law."

"That's not a policy that, in my mind, meets the common-sense test," Dobelle told a press conference yesterday.

Murakami, a member of the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, had a 1,079-540-4 record. UH won six Western Athletic Conference titles and appeared in 11 NCAA regionals in his tenure.

Murakami spearheaded the drive to build the 4,312-seat stadium. Since Rainbow Stadium opened in 1984, nearly 2.5 million fans have passed through its turnstiles.