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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, June 22, 2005

BCS courts Wagner, Yoshida

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

Former University of Hawai'i football coach Bob Wagner and ex-UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida have been asked to be part of the voting panel to determine a Bowl Championship Series national champion in college football.

With the Associated Press and ESPN having pulled their polls from the process, the BCS said it is assembling its own national panel of former coaches, players, administrators and media. The new panel would vote in a weekly poll and help determine the national championship pairings.

Both Wagner and Yoshida said they were contacted last week by Harris Interactive, the marketing and polling firm that operates The Harris Poll, and the Big 12 Conference and asked if they would be interested in sitting on the panel. Both said they would be available. Harris has been hired by the BCS and the Big 12 has coordinated the process.

Prospective panelists were nominated by the 11-member conferences and Notre Dame. The Western Athletic Conference, which nominated them, said it is likely Wagner and Yoshida will be selected. The final announcement of the panel and the BCS process is expected to come next month.

Wagner, who was UH's head coach from 1988 to 1995, leading the school to its only top 20 finish, is athletic director at Kamehameha Schools-Hawai'i. He was a frequent voter in the USA Today/ESPN poll as UH head coach.

"Maybe I can tell (wife) Gloria, 'Hey, it is part of my responsibility to watch all the college football games,' " Wagner said.

Yoshida retired in 2002 after a decade as UH athletic director and has been active with the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.

"I follow football anyway — it has always been my first love," said the former Leilehua High coach.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8044.