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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 10, 2008

Coaching position draws 30 applicants

Video: Carl Clapp takes over as acting athletics director

By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Carl Clapp

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When the yet-to-be-assembled search committee for the next University of Hawai'i head football coach officially begins its review of potential replacements for departed June Jones on Tuesday, it will have no shortage of applicants.

According to athletic department officials, more than 30 people have already applied for the position, which opened on Monday when Jones, the winningest coach in the program's history, resigned to take the head coaching job at Southern Methodist University.

The job was posted on the UH Web site on Tuesday. By mutual agreement with the Hawai'i Government Employees Association, the position must be advertised for at least five working days.

"There has been significant interest," said associate athletic director Carl Clapp, who was recommended by UH-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw to serve as acting AD following the dismissal of Herman Frazier on Tuesday. "We're just getting started and we'll work in as efficient a manner as possible time-wise."

Clapp said a search committee is still being assembled to review the applications.

While the university is legally restricted from identifying the applicants, several names have been linked to the position, including UH defensive coordinator Greg McMackin, Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow, New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, and UH linebackers coach Cal Lee.

McMackin, who was originally expected to follow Jones to SMU, reportedly has expressed interest in the job and is widely considered the frontrunner to replace his former boss.

Clapp said he will work with the search committee and the university administration to get a new head coach in place as soon as possible. Asked for a best-case timetable, Clapp responded, "an hour ago."

"The highest priority that I'm working on now is to hire a head football coach," he said.

While the university does not have a definite target date for hiring Jones' replacement, the looming football recruitment period is a big consideration.

The earliest UH can host recruits on campus is the Jan. 18 to 20 weekend, Clapp said.

"We're on it," Clapp said. "We're going for it."

Clapp said he will work with selection committee members to determine the set of criteria that would be applied to the applicants. He said those criteria could be determined "in three or four days."

Clapp did discuss qualifications that he felt would be important for the new coach to possess, including successful coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level, the ability to "fit" in Hawai'i, and the "ability to ensure a smooth transition for our current team members."

The UH Board of Regents must still sign off on Frazier's $312,510 termination agreement and Clapp's appointment as acting AD.

That is not likely to happen at today's BOR meeting because of a state law requiring at least six days' notice of agenda items.

Nonetheless, Clapp will be present at today's meeting to discuss the athletic department's budget.

Possible candidates for the permanent AD position include Hawai'i Community College Chancellor Rockne Freitas, KGMB senior vice president and general manager Rick Blangiardi, Hawai'i High School Athletic Association executive director Keith Amemiya, Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl executive director Jim Donovan, and former UH and current San Jose State football coach Dick Tomey.

Clapp said he has not decided whether he will also pursue the position, saying only that he hopes "to be employed by the University of Hawai'i."

Reach Michael Tsai at mtsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.