Reinebold selected to mold UH defensive line
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stephen Tsai
Jeff Reinebold's gamble paid off yesterday when he was named the University of Hawai'i football team's defensive line coach.
"I'm very grateful, and I appreciate the opportunity," said Reinebold, who served as a UH graduate assistant last season.
In replacing Vantz Singletary, who resigned three weeks ago to accept a similar position at Tennessee-Chattanooga, Reinebold is fulfilling "a dream I've had for a long time."
Last year, Reinebold, who has coached in college and the pros for more than two decades, was earning about $100,000 annually as the senior manager of international player development for the National Football League.
Reinebold, who is a close friend of former UH linebacker David Maeva, said he always wanted to coach in Hawai'i. He said he had exchanged e-mails with UH coach June Jones for three years.
"Before I called June (last year) and really made a pitch, I made a decision in my heart," said Reinebold, 48. "We're constantly talking to athletes about making sacrifices and having the discipline to go out and do the right thing, to dare to be great. I thought to myself, 'You're a phony. You talk about all of those things. Do you really live it? If you did, you'd call June and say you're coming over for nothing.' "
And that's what Reinebold did, offering to work without pay.
"June told me, 'It doesn't work that way, the NCAA won't allow it,' " Reinebold recalled. "I don't know if it was because I was a nuisance, but he offered me a position as graduate assistant."
Because a graduate assistant earns $830 per month, in addition to free tuition, Reinebold prepared by living "a monk-like life. I had one room. No phone. No TV. A lot of no's." He used his savings to subsidize his GA stipends.
Last season, Reinebold tutored the defensive ends, including Ikaika Alama-Francis and Melila Purcell III. He also was the point man in recruiting in Texas, helping the Warriors sign cornerbacks Gerard Lewis and Myron Newberry, and safety/linebacker Jacob Patek.
Reinebold said he was awarded full custody of his 10-year-old son, Kekoa, in December. He said the promotion will enable him to better support Kekoa and his two children in college.
"This is the opportunity to have the best of both worlds," Reinebold said. "It gives me an opportunity to coach in a great place, and my kids have the opportunity to get the support from me that they deserve."
COX LEARNING NUANCES OF LINEBACKER POSITION
Mario Cox said he will spend spring break learning the linebacker plays in anticipation of a move from running back.
Cox was withheld from competing in the first week of spring practice to focus on school work. Although he has not practiced, he has attended all of the linebacker meetings. Cox was a reserve running back as a freshman last season.
"I might as well learn something while I'm not participating in spring ball," he said.
He said he expects to work out at linebacker after he is cleared to practice. He said he does not know which position he will play in training camp in August. Cox squat-lifted 425 pounds, best among the offense's ball-handling players.
Cox is among 10 players withheld from practice to complete outstanding academic projects.
JoPierre Davis, who was supposed to compete at cornerback, said he hopes to be cleared in the near future. The Warriors will take a week off because of spring break and will resume practicing April 3.
WIDE RECEIVER RIVERS RETURNS TO ACTION
Wide receiver Jason Rivers yesterday participated in his first official practice since the day before the 2004 Hawai'i Bowl.
He was academically ineligible last spring. He did not play last season because of a broken ankle and an academic problem.
Rivers re-enrolled at UH in January, but was prohibited from competing in spring practice until he paid off "a financial obligation" to the school.
Rivers, who no longer is on scholarship, said he receives financial support from his family, as well as his construction job.
"One semester of struggle is all worth it to get back onto the field," Rivers said.
'RAINBOWS' WILL BE USED BY DEFENSE
After the still-debated nickname change to "Warriors," it has been surprising to hear "Rainbows" called out during team drills.
Defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville said "Rainbows" is a term for a defensive formation. Glanville, who joined UH last year, said the term has "been with us for 30 years. I notice they all laugh when they say that."
Reach Stephen Tsai at firstname.lastname@example.org.