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The UH football coach is resigning amid allegations that he created a toxic environment.

The UH football coach is resigning amid allegations that he created a toxic environment.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow ) – University of Hawaii head football coach Todd Graham resigned Friday amid allegations of a toxic atmosphere within the football program.

Graham was hired in January 2020 after Nick Rolovich left as a coach and quarterback. He had a record of 11-11 throughout his UH coaching career.

He had just completed the second-year of a five year contract.

The month-long delay since Hawaii’s last regular-season game has been turbulent. This is partly due to the COVID-related cancellations of the Hawaii Bowl.


Three days after a road win against Wyoming of 38-14, Dae Dae Hunter, the team’s leading rusher, announced that he was entering a transfer portal.

Just one day later, Chevan Cordeiro, a star Hawaii recruit who had starred at Saint Louis School and was eventually awarded team captain honors with Rainbow Warriors, decided to leave. Cordeiro has since signed with San Jose State, a Hawaii rival.

The departures prompted a public airing on Twitter of grievances, where hundreds listened as former and current players. Graham described a dysfunctional team culture.

Players complained that the incompetent coaching and a troubled locker room environment had taken away their love for the game. One player stated, “I’ve never felt this way.”

As the days passed, allegations continued to mount. Some players claim Graham verbally abused players,He was open about his desire to use Hawaii as a steppingstone for a more lucrative job as a coach and demeaning to assistant coaches.

Graham acknowledged that there were improvements needed when he was asked about the claims made after they had been filed.

Graham stated that he wanted to be a role-model for our players. He said that they ask them to be coachable. Graham also said that humility is essential and that self-awareness is essential. We talked about how our staff were committed to doing the right thing and we know that we do.

Despite this, departures continued.

Nick Mardner, the team’s leading receiver, announced that he was entering the transfer portal on Christmas Eve. In a series of social media posts, Darius Muasau, defensive captain, and linebacker, along with Jonah Laulu (linemen) and Justus Tai (linemen), all revealed that they had done it. That made it a total of 17 players who had publicly announced their intention to leave Bows.

In testimony at a briefing before the state Senate last week, former players said that Graham created a toxic locker-room environment, which resulted in a divide between scholarship and walk-on players.

Some players who were part of the team last season referred to him as a tyrant and hypocrite, and verbally abusive.

Leonard Lee, a former player and Kapolei High graduate, stated that he doesn’t see any change with this man. He has a disdain for the culture and lacks respect for players. I try my best to see the good and give people chances. But he’s hands down the worst person I’ve ever met.

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Graham issued the following statement following his resignation:

After much prayer and reflection, I have come up with the decision to resign as head coach of Rainbow Warriors. This was after much heartbreak. The University has not asked for me to step down. I am leaving for my family and my own health.

Graham’s resignation was confirmed by the university. The coach will not be owed any additional money, except for normal reimbursements and compensation.

UH Athletics Director David Matlin stated that Todd’s tireless efforts as an assistant coach have had a positive effect on many student-athletes. We talked for hours and it was clear that he is taking this action to ensure the football program’s continued success.

Jacob Yoro, UH’s linebackers coach, has been appointed interim head coach. The search for the next head coach begins immediately.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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