Stephen Tsai: June Jones, Colt Brennan among those worthy of induction into University of Hawaii Circle of Honor

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Aug. 31—You know that bottled gunky stuff in the back of the fridge that people forget to throw out ?

That's me.

Well, it was until this year, when the University of Hawaii's Circle of Honor selection committee realized my casual, interim, six-month appointment expired in the middle of Obama's second presidential term. Hey, they kept calling roll, and I kept saying, "here."

For an old man who wanted to share old UH stories with a family who did not want to hear them, the committee meetings became an animated outlet for debates, strong opinions and, ultimately, apologies for debating opinions too strongly. I once delayed open-heart surgery because I wanted to campaign for the 1992 UH football team.

There were successful nominations—two of the Noga brothers, the 1992 and 2007 football teams, Jim Leahey—and many unsuccessful proposals. But with the committee set to announce this year's class sometime this week, and my pass code still working, here are some suggestions that hopefully were selected for this year or will be considered in the coming years :—Colt Brennan : The most popular player in the football program's history was mourned nationally when he died in May. He set NCAA passing records, once accomplished the most productive season by an NCAA quarterback, and led an under-budgeted team to an undefeated regular season and berth in the Sugar Bowl. No Rainbow Warrior will ever wear his No. 15. This season, "15 " is on the Warriors' helmet. Next step should be Circle of Honor induction.—June Jones : Enough years have passed that Jones should be remembered more for his UH marriage than divorce. Jones left an NFL head coaching job, absorbing a significant pay cut, to take over a team that went 0-12 in the 1998. In nine seasons, Jones won more NCAA football games than any UH coach, and created innovative marketing strategies that were sometimes controversial but, all the time, lucrative. Any other coach hire George Toma to maintain the field or convince Emmy Award-winning composer Mike Post to donate theme music ?—Rich Miano : Before Ashley Lelie, Chad Owens and Ikaika Alama-Francis, the most successful UH walk-on was a freshman diver from Kaiser High. As a hard-hitting and gravity-defying safety, Miano earned All-WAC honors and went on to play 11 NFL seasons. He also was a UH assistant for 13 years, including four as associate head coach. He currently is color analyst for Spectrum Sports' pay-per-view telecasts of UH football games. Miano started Hawaii Speed & Quickness, is involved with the Polynesian Bowl, directed the resurrected Hula Bowl, and donated thousands of dollars to his alma mater. His wife, Lori, deserves credit for recruiting Tala Esera, the left tackle on the record-setting 2006 team. Miano also is an end-game entrepreneur who is part-owner of a cemetery.—Costas Theocharidis : The original "Greek Freak " was an all-skills Warrior volleyball player. He could play both left-side spots and opposite, blast serves that turned UCLA's side into pinball bumpers, tool blocks with craftsmanship and accurately pass spin serves and jump floaters. The NCAA tsk-tsk'd the Warriors, seizing their 2002 national title because Theocharidis, before enrolling at UH, was an unpaid member of a European team that competed on the semi-pro circuit. But "Hawaii " is still engraved on a perpetual plaque of volleyball champions in the NCAA offices. The AVCA allowed Theocharidis to keep his awards—he is the program's only player to be named to the All-America first team four times—and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation still recognizes his statistics. One other thing : the UH media guides listed the pro-am team in Theocharidis' biographical section, indicating it was widely believed Theocharidis' amateur status was intact. And that rule no longer is in the books.—Ann Miller : Miller grew up in the Bay Area, but she is a hanai daughter of Hawaii sports journalism. Her stories were rich with detail and emotion, deftly capturing key plays and the feelings of making them. During a four-decade career with The Honolulu Advertiser and then Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Miller covered nearly every sport, with particular focus on golf and women's volleyball, while also chronicling UH's path to gender equity. Patsy Mink, author of Title IX ; Donnis Thompson, UH's first women's athletic director, and Rainbow Wahine volleyball coach Dave Shoji considered Miller a trusted and respected journalist.

Cindy Luis, who was Hawaii's first female sports editor, also is worthy of future consideration.—For more Hawaii football, visit the.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting