A rainbow arching over the Manoa Valley this morning made for an auspicious start to David Matlin’s first day on the job as the University of Hawaii athletic director.
Matlin, who headed the Hawaii Bowl and Diamond Head Classic, arrived at UH shortly before 7 a.m. and said he hopes to bring some stability to an office that has been occupied by three predecessors in less than 36 months.
He inherits a 21-team department that is expected to close the fiscal year June 30 with a $3.5 million deficit.
“I think my (operating philosophy) will be that we have to steward well what we have,” Matlin said. “I think if we do that, if we are perceived as a good investment, then more money will flow to us.”
Matlin arrived in his office with two bags and immediately put a bowl of candy on his desk. “My wife gave it to me and told me, ‘be nice to people,” Matlin said. “Like the first day of kindergarten, she said, ‘go make some new friends.'”
Matlin was scheduled to meet with several athletes, coaches, staff and administrators today.
Before officially signing on, Matlin three weeks ago oversaw the hiring of Eran Ganot as the new men’s basketball coach and worked to keep women’s basketball coach Laura Beeman, who had been a contender for the University of Utah job.
Matlin succeeds Ben Jay who has been assigned to the upper campus until he leaves next month.