Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Quarterback Sefo Liufau #13 of the Colorado Buffaloes makes a pass while under pressure from defensive lineman Kennedy Tulimasealii #90 of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Folsom Field on September 20, 2014 in Boulder, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Hawaii defensive lineman arrested for second time in two weeks


Hawaii defensive lineman Kennedy Tulimasealii was arrested two weeks ago on two counts of domestic abuse and contempt, plus resisting arrest and harassment. And, boy, did he ever resist, reportedly fighting with officers — eventually necessitating the use of pepper spray — after being found by police naked in his apartment.

Earlier this week, Tulimasealii decided to double down on his legal predicament.

As reported by KHON2-TV in Honolulu, Tulimasealii was arrested Monday night for criminal property damage. Tulimasealii and his girlfriend were parked outside a Hawaii dormitory when an argument arose, when Tulimasealii allegedly began punching the car’s radio and navigation system, damage totaling more than $1,500.

Tulimasealii was released on $20,000 bail and is due in court on Thursday. He remains suspended from the Rainbow Warriors’ football team. He collected a team-leading 18.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 2015.

Hawaii’s leading sacker arrested on multiple charges, including domestic abuse

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Quarterback Sefo Liufau #13 of the Colorado Buffaloes makes a pass while under pressure from defensive lineman Kennedy Tulimasealii #90 of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Folsom Field on September 20, 2014 in Boulder, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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A very prominent member of Hawaii’s defensive line has run into an off-field situation serious enough that his future with the football program is very much up in the air.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Kennedy Tulimasealii was arrested Tuesday morning on multiple charges stemming from an incident at a Honolulu home earlier in the day.  Tulimasealii was arrested on two counts each of domestic abuse and contempt, as well as one charge each of resisting arrest and harassment.

The details of what led to the arrest and charges, all misdemeanors, were not detailed by the Star-Advertiser, although HawaiiNewsNow.com took care of that very unique angle of the story:

Sources said defensive tackle Kennedy Tulimasealii was naked when officers arrived at the unit in response to an abuse of a family member case.

The senior lineman began fighting with officers, sources said, and officers used pepper spray to try to subdue him. Other officers joined the struggle and took Tulimasealii to the ground as he tried to pull away, police said.

A teammate, fellow defensive tackle Ka‘aumoana Gifford, was arrested on an obstruction charge in connection to the incident as well.  According to the website, Gifford pushed a police officer ans was yelling at them to let go of his teammate.

“It’s a bad deal for all the good this team has done,” head coach Nick Rolovich said. “For a couple guys to make their bad decision without thinking about the future of this football team and their teammates, it’s a sad deal.”

“We are in the process of gathering all the information, while keeping in mind the rules and policies of this university and athletic department,” UH spokesperson Derek Inouchi said in a statement.  According to the Star-Advertiser, Tulimasealii could potentially face expulsion from the university.

Last season as a junior, Tulimasealii led the Rainbow Warriors in tackles for loss (18.5) and sacks (3.5).  The past two seasons,Tulimasealii has started 20 games.

Gifford started four games last season, and was credited with 22 tackles.

Hawaii, UMass add former players to coaching staffs

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Earlier in the day we noted that a former North Carolina football player had gone back to his alma mater to continue his coaching career.  As it turns out, both Hawaii and UMass have seen former players return home as well.

Hawaii late this past week announced that new head coach Nick Rolovich has added Craig Stutzmann as his passing-game coordinator.  Rolovich and Stutzmann were teammates with the Rainbow Warriors 15 or so years ago.

The past two seasons, Stutzmann, who left UH as the school’s fifth all-time leading receiver, spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Virginia’s Emory & Henry College.  This will mark Stutzmann’s first on-field role at an FBS program.

“Another Warrior returns to the ‘āina, a man who has succeeded as a student-athlete and person in this program,” Rolovich said. “Stutz understands our culture, has lived aloha and played warrior. Since leaving our shores in 2009, he has acquired a wealth of knowledge in various offensive schemes and has paid his dues in the coaching world. I am convinced there’s no place he’d rather be than Pride Rock.”

Meanwhile, out in Amherst, Mass., UMass confirmed that a former football Minutemen, Matt Dawson, will serve as Mark Whipple‘s tight ends coach.  The former UMass linebacker will also assist with special teams.

The past two seasons, Dawson served as linebackers coach at Rhode Island.  Like Stutzmann, this will be Dawson’s first on-field job at the FBS level.

“Matt Dawson is Massachusetts alum who truly embodies everything our university and program are about,” the Minutemen’s head coach said in his statement. “I’m excited to have him. He brings great knowledge and expertise.”

In another tweak of his staff, Whipple announced that graduate assistant Scott Woodward has been promoted to quarterbacks coach. Woodward replaces Liam Coen, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Maine.

Interestingly, Woodward was Coen’s backup at quarterback when the they played for the Minutemen a decade ago.

Zak Hill hired as Boise State co-OC after one month at Hawaii

BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 20:  The Boise State Broncos run onto the field for the game against the UNLV Rebels at Bronco Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
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A month ago, Zak Hill joined Nick Rolovich‘s original staff at Hawaii.

On Friday, Hill was announced as Boise State’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“Zak’s shown a tremendous ability to take young quarterbacks and develop them into not just good players but leaders on the field,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said in a statement. “The quarterback play at Eastern Washington over the last several years has been really, really good and the result has been an efficient and explosive offense.  While credit goes to a number of people, Zak’s name certainly has to be near the top of the list.”

Hill’s rapid ascension — he was Eastern Washington’s passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2009 through this season before joining Hawaii’s staff in December — is jarring on the surface but is an annual check point of the coaching change season.

Additionally, Boise State has promoted offensive line coach Scott Huff to co-offensive coordinator and named wide receivers coach Junior Adams passing game coordinator. The moves were necessary after the Broncos lost offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz to N.C. State. Hill will be Boise State’s third offensive coordinator in three seasons as Drinkwitz replaced Mike Sanford, who recently completed his first season at Notre Dame. Boise State also lost defensive coordinator Marcel Yates to Arizona this winter.

Harsin will call plays for Boise State this fall.

“Our focus with the staff is to find the right role and allow our guys to star in that role. Hiring Zak allowed us an opportunity to create a collaborative effort in our offensive staff room. Each coach brings something different to the table and will have input on our plan and execution, with Zak and Coach Huff serving as the co-offensive coordinators,” Harsin said. “One will focus on the run game, and the other will focus on the pass game with Coach Adams. I have full confidence in both of them and their ability to coordinate and develop our offensive plan. “

To replace Hill, Hawaii has announced former Warrior wide receiver Craig Stutzmann as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach and moved Brian Smith to run game coordinator/running backs coach.

Smart, Richt currently pace all new head coaches in recruit rankings

CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 04:  New University of Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt makes the 'U' sign after he was introduced at a press conference at the school on December 4, 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
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In somewhat of an ironic twist, the head coach who was forced to leave Georgia and the coach who replaced him are doing quite well on the recruiting trail at their new programs.  In fact, they’re doing better than any other who found a landing spot in the 2015-16 spinning of the coaching carousel.

As it stands now, Miami’s Mark Richt has the 19th-ranked recruiting class according to Rivals.com, the second-best of any of the  27 head coaches hired in the past three months.  The best?  Georgia, which has the No. 15 class thanks in part to Kirby Smart, Richt’s successor in Athens.

UGA right now, though, and fully understanding that there are nearly two weeks left until National Signing Day, is nine spots behind the No. 6 class Richt signed in 2015.  The U, meanwhile, was ranked 26th for Al Golden‘s last class, a full seven spots behind were Richt stands now.

Not surprisingly, a significant number of programs have seen their recruiting rankings dip from a year ago.  One of the most glaring is that of USC.  Despite offensive coordinator Clay Helton taking over as interim head coach in mid-October and then taking over permanently in late November, USC has just the 23rd-ranked class; last year at this time, the Trojans were well on their way to having Rivals’ No. 1 class under Steve Sarkisian.

Of the 27 head coaches new to their teams, 17 have classes that are ranked lower than their predecessors from a year ago.  The biggest drop belongs to Seth Littrell‘s North Texas (127th currently, 90th in 2015), while that ignominious honor for Power Five programs goes to Dave Odom and Missouri (59th, 27th).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Matt Campbell has taken his new team on one of the biggest rises, lifting Iowa State from No. 69 under the departed Paul Rhoads to No. 52.  Interestingly, Campbell’s successor at Toledo, UT offensive coordinator Jason Candle, has the Rockets at 73rd, 17 spots higher than his predecessor’s 90th-ranked class of a year ago.

Below are the 27 newest head coaches, with where their teams rank now in the recruiting rankings compared to a year ago:

2016 New HC Recruit Rankings