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Dave Matlin signs off on final day as UH AD

Dave Reardon / dreardon@staradvertiser.com
                                Outgoing University of Hawaii Athletic Director Dave Matlin sat his desk on his final day on the job.
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Dave Reardon / dreardon@staradvertiser.com

Outgoing University of Hawaii Athletic Director Dave Matlin sat his desk on his final day on the job.

David Matlin, the longest-serving University of Hawaii athletic director since the early 2000s, put in his last day as the top sports executive at UH today.

Matlin, 58, announced his retirement in January. He has put in eight years as the Manoa AD and has worked more than 30 years in sports administration in Hawaii, including starting at the UH ticket office and later as executive director of the Hawaii Bowl and Diamond Head Classic before becoming AD in 2015.

Craig Angelos, 61, starts Monday as his replacement. The former Florida Atlantic AD who most recently served as the deputy AD at Long Island University will hit the ground running, as Hawaii hosts the Mountain West Conference annual board of directors meetings Monday and Tuesday.

Matlin hired 16 head coaches during his tenure, including three in football, and one each in baseball, women’s volleyball and men’s basketball.

He was criticized by many for how one of those football hires worked out (Todd Graham) and for not bringing back a favorite of many UH fans (June Jones).

UH won two national championships in men’s volleyball during his tenure, and the Rainbow Warriors men’s basketball team won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time.

Matlin had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in the state that took the longest to allow fans to return to stadiums and arenas, and the loss of 50,000-seat Aloha Stadium when it was shut down two years ago.

He oversaw a quick conversion of the on-campus football practice field in a venue where Division I football games could be played; Ching Complex had room for 9,000 spectators in 2021 and 2022.

“I knew the job wasn’t to make everyone happy,” Matlin said in an interview today, in his office before leaving it for the final time. “It can be a very complicated job, but I tried to keep things simple, without agenda or politics.

“I had a passion for this and it was a very special experience. I’ve got to meet so many special people, and it’s all about relationships,” he said. “But it’s time.”

Matlin said he doesn’t have a job lined up, and doesn’t know what he will do next yet, other than “read a fiction book, and do some things my wife’s been wanting me to do. She’s been running everything.”

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