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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, June 20, 2002

Next UH athletics chief no stranger to Hawai'i

 •  Frazier highly regarded by those who know him
 •  UH high in minority hiring
 •  Ferd Lewis: Frazier's contacts span globe

By Ferd Lewis and Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writers

Despite having visited Hawai'i many times and a casual familiarity with University of Hawai'i athletics over the years, Herman Frazier said he was surprised to get the call that ultimately made him the new UH athletic director.

Herman Frazier is the likely pick as new UH athetic director.
Details surrounding the presentation of his name to the university board of regents were expected to be wrapped up today to make Frazier the successor to Hugh Yoshida.

A formal announcement on what might be a three-year contract in the neighborhood of $180,000 a year is expected tomorrow at the monthly regents meeting.

Shortly afterward, Frazier is scheduled to be introduced at a campus press conference and could begin work on campus before the Aug. 26 opening of the fall semester.

Frazier, 46, yesterday declined to comment on the status of his contract saying, "it is premature at this point," although people at his former school, Alabama-Birmingham, expect his resignation today.

Frazier arrived in Honolulu Tuesday night and met with UH president Evan Dobelle and interim Manoa chancellor Deane Neubauer.

Speaking for the first time from what he termed, "a secluded spot" where he is staying with his fiancee Caroline, Frazier said, "money is not the issue with me."

He said the opportunities at UH appeal to him. "It is a great place as far as an institution of higher learning. I think they have a lot of things here in place to make it a viable (player) in the world of college athletics."

UH has the state's only NCAA Division I-A program with 19 teams and an operating budget of $16 million.

Frazier said he began coming to Hawai'i in 1979 when he was in administration at Arizona State and the Sun Devil football team played UH at Aloha Stadium. Since then, Frazier said, he has visited here "about 20 times" between vacations and business trips, including for the National Invitation Tournament (basketball) and Aloha Bowl. "I've traveled around the state and been on campus many times before."

But when Bob Beaudine, president of Eastman & Beaudine, the UH-contracted search firm, e-mailed him to gauge his interest in the UH opening, Frazier said, "I was surprised. I wasn't looking for a job; the search people contacted me.

"In this business you get contacted about testing the water. I was surprised to hear from Bob. I've dealt with him before but had not spoken to him in, oh, six years," Frazier said.

"What (search firms) do is see what an institution is looking for, and what they try to do is match the right person with the right institution."

Frazier said Beaudine followed up with a phone call and later set up an interview. A seven-member delegation from UH made up of administration and search committee people interviewed Frazier in Dallas over the weekend.

Late Monday, Frazier returned to Birmingham where he told the UAB administration of plans to come to Hawai'i the next day to meet with UH officials.

Frazier said he has known Marilyn Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano, assistant UH athletic director and senior women's administrator, and had met football coach June Jones and Yoshida in the past.

Yoshida announced on Feb. 22 he would retire when his contract expires in December.

According to the Birmingham News, Frazier received $175,000 at UAB where he is 20 months into a three-year contract.

Before UAB, Frazier spent 23 years at his alma mater, Arizona State, where he held a succession of positions, the final one senior associate athletic director for the 23-sport, $30 million athletic program.