Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wahine

The University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wāhine are the athletic teams that represent the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UH), in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. The UH athletics program is a member of the Big West Conference in most sports and competes at the NCAA Division I level. It comprises seven men's, 12 women's, and two coed athletic teams.[1]

Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wāhine
UniversityUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
ConferenceBig West Conference (most sports)
Mountain West Conference (football)
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorDavid Matlin
LocationHonolulu, Hawaiʻi
Varsity teams21
Football stadiumAloha Stadium
Basketball arenaStan Sheriff Center
Baseball stadiumLes Murakami Stadium
Softball stadiumRainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
Soccer stadiumWaipi‘o Peninsula Soccer Stadium
NatatoriumDuke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex
Other arenasClarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex
UH Tennis Complex
NicknameRainbow Warriors (men's), Rainbow Wāhine (women's)


Hawaiʻi athletics began more than a century ago, with the first football team being fielded in 1909. Through 1923, the UH teams were called the "Deans." In the final game of the 1923 season, the football team upset Oregon State, with a rainbow appearing over the stadium during the game. Sportswriters began referring to UH teams as the "Rainbows," and the tradition was born that Hawaii could not lose if a rainbow appeared. The rainbow officially became a part of the school's athletic logo in 1982 and remained until 2000.[2]

King Kamehameha the Great and his warriors united the Hawaiian Islands, earning the warrior a place of honor in Hawaiian history and an expectation of strength, skill and a fighting spirit. The UH teams became known as "Rainbow Warriors" long before the name became official in 1974.[2]

When women's teams were begun in 1972, founder and first women's athletic director Dr. Donnis Thompson named the teams the "Rainbow Wāhine" with "wāhine" being Hawaiian for women.[2]

Both the men's and the women's teams have long been known as the "Rainbows" or merely the "'Bows."

A controversial change in 2000 allowed each team to pick its own team name; the football, men's volleyball, golf, and tennis teams became the Warriors, while the men's basketball and swimming & diving teams remained Rainbow Warriors, and the baseball team became the Rainbows.[3] The women's teams, however, all remained the “Rainbow Wāhine." At the same time, the school changed its athletics logo to the current stylized "H", omitting the rainbow of the old logo altogether.

On July 1, 2013, the nicknames of the university's men's sports teams were once again standardized, and all male teams at the university are now referred to as the "Rainbow Warriors."[4][5] More recently, the women's beach volleyball team, while still officially "Rainbow Wāhine", generally uses "SandBows".


Conference affiliation

The Hawaiʻi men's teams competed as independents until joining the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 1979.[6] The women's teams were independents until joining the Pacific Coast Athletic Association in 1985, with that conference rebranding as the Big West Conference in 1988.[7] In 1996, the women's teams joined the men in the WAC.[6] In July 2012, most of the school's teams moved from the WAC to the women's former league, the Big West Conference.[7] Since the Big West does not sponsor football, the Rainbow Warriors became affiliate members of the Mountain West Conference.[8] Teams in sports not sponsored by the Big West compete as members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.[9]

Sports sponsored

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Beach volleyball
Football Cross country
Golf Golf
Swimming and diving Soccer
Tennis Softball
Track and field Swimming and diving
Volleyball Tennis
Track and field
Water polo
Co-ed sport
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor


The Rainbow Warriors have made one appearance in the College World Series, finishing as the runner up to champion Arizona in the 1980 College World Series. The head coach is Mike Trapasso who, since taking over the program in 2001, has led Hawai'i to two NCAA tournaments and was the 2006 National Baseball Foundation Coach of the Year.

Men's basketball

The Rainbow Warriors are coached by Eran Ganot. In 2015, the university self-imposed penalties as a result of NCAA violations committed by the previous coaching staff that include vacating 36 wins from the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons, reducing scholarships and practice time, and placing itself on one-year probation. The university also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine.[10] The team's most recent appearance in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was in 2016.

Women's basketball

The Hawaiʻi Rainbow Wāhine basketball team represents the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.[11] They are currently coached by Laura Beeman. The team plays its home games at the Stan Sheriff Center.[11]

Women's beach volleyball

The Hawaiʻi Rainbow Wāhine beach volleyball team also known as the Hawaiʻi Sandbows is the NCAA Division I beach volleyball team at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.[12]


The Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warriors football team competes in NCAA Division I FBS college football. The team, which is currently coached by Nick Rolovich, joined the Mountain West Conference in July 2012. Under former coach June Jones, they were the third BCS non-AQ team to play in a BCS bowl game, having faced Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2008, losing to Georgia 41-10. Hawaiʻi was ranked 10th and UGA ranked 5th in the nation. Hawaiʻi was the only undefeated team of the 2007 season, before losing in the Sugar Bowl in January 2008.


The Hawaiʻi Rainbow Wāhine softball team is the NCAA Division I college softball team for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.[13]

Women's volleyball

The Hawaiʻi Rainbow Wāhine volleyball team represents the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in NCAA Division I college volleyball and play their home games at the Stan Sheriff Center.[14]


School colors

The school colors for the Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wāhine are green, white, black and silver.[15] The white and green colors were chosen by the wives of the faculty.[15] In 2000, a new athletics logo was created that included black and silver, so those colors are now also used by the athletics department.[15]

In film

The creation of the first Rainbow Wāhine teams at the University of Hawaiʻi is the subject of the documentary film Rise of the Wahine, directed by Dean Kaneshiro. [16] Rise of the Wāhine features the struggles of these first women's teams after the passing of Title IX and the film highlights the roles of coaches Alan Kang and Dave Shoji, first female Athletic Director Dr. Donnis Thompson, Patsy Mink, and first-teams volleyball players Beth McLachlin, Marilyn Moniz-Kaho`ohanonaho, Joyce Kapua`ala, and Joey Akeo.

See also


  1. ^ "University of Hawai'i, Manoa". NCAA. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "UH Traditions". University of Hawai'i Athletics. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  3. ^ http://starbulletin.com/2000/07/27/sports/story1.html
  4. ^ "Nickname Of UH Men's Teams To Be Rainbow Warriors". 5 May 2013. Retrieved 11 Nov 2013.
  5. ^ "'Rainbows' return as U.H. name change becomes official". 1 July 2013. Retrieved 11 Nov 2013.
  6. ^ a b "History of the WAC". Western Athletic Conference. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "About The Big West Conference". Big West Conference. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  8. ^ "HAWAI'I". Mountain West Conference. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  9. ^ "THE MOUNTAIN PACIFIC SPORTS FEDERATION 2014-2015 Participating Members". CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  10. ^ "UH to self-impose penalties for NCAA violations". HawaiiNewsNow. May 15, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  11. ^ a b "University OF Hawai'i Women's Basketball 2018-19 Quick Facts" (PDF). hawaiiathletics.com. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  12. ^ "University of Hawai'i Beach Volleyball Record Book" (PDF). hawaiiathletics.com. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  13. ^ "2019 Rainbow Wahine Softball Quick Facts" (PDF). hawaiiathletics.com. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  14. ^ "Rainbow Wahine Volleyball 2018 Schedule/Quick Facts" (PDF). hawaiiathletics.com. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c "UH Traditions-The Colors". hawaiiathletics.com. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  16. ^ "Rise of the Wahine Documentary Film".

External links

Archie Kodros

Archie John Kodros (January 20, 1918 – June 4, 1990) was an American football player and coach. He played for the University of Michigan football team from 1937 to 1939 and was selected as a first-team All-American and team captain in his senior year. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. After the war, Kodros worked as a football coach at Whitman College (1948–1950), University of Hawaii (1951), and University of Iowa (1952–1965).

Bill Smith (swimmer)

William Melvin Smith Jr. (May 16, 1924 – February 8, 2013) was an American former competition swimmer, two-time Olympic champion, and a former world record-holder in four events. He was one of the most successful competitive swimmers in the United States in the first half of the 20th century.

Smith was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, of mixed Irish and Hawaiian ancestry. He attended Ohio State University, and competed for the Ohio State Buckeyes swimming and diving team within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). As a college swimmer, he was undefeated in three years of dual meet competition, and was a four-time All-American. He set seven world records and won fourteen U.S. national championships: seven NCAA, six AAU indoor and one AAU outdoor.

At the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, England, Smith won gold medals in the 400-meter freestyle and 4×200-meter freestyle relay. At one time, Smith held all of the world records in freestyle swimming events between 200 and 1,000 meters.

At the US Olympic trials of the 1948 4x200-meter freestyle relay, several swimmers who had already qualified in other events slowed down in their heats or swam fast in the prelims and scratched themselves for the final to allow more swimmers to qualify for the US Olympic Team. Smith was one of the instigators of this "conspiracy".

Ultimately, coach Robert Kiphuth did hold a time trial shortly after the actual trials with eleven of the swimmers. This time trial had Jimmy McLane as first overall with a time of 2:11.0, Bill Smith, and Wally Wolf in 2:11.2, and Wally Ris in 2:12.4. This quartet was used for the Olympic final and won the gold medal. The next four-Eugene Rogers in 2:14.2, Edwin Gilbert in 2:15.4, Robert Gibe in 2:15.6, and William Dudley in 2:15.9, were used in the Olympic prelims. The next three swimmers-Joe Verdeur who came in 2:16.3, Alan Ford in 2;16.4 and George Hoogerhyde in 2:17.4 were not used in any capacity in the 4x200 freestyle relay.

After retiring from competitions Smith became captain of the surf guards at Waikiki Beach, coached swimmers at the University of Hawaii, and served as safety director for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation for 25 years. He also coached masters swimmers at the Kamehameha Swim Club.Smith was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1966. In 2001 he was named Ohio State University's swimmer of the century by the Columbus Touchdown Club. He died February 8, 2013; he was 88 years old.

David Matlin

David Alexander Kalakaua Matlin is the current director of athletics for the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Prior to his appointment as athletic director at Hawaii, he previously served as Executive Director of the Hawaii Bowl from 2008 to 2015. Matlin is the son of Lew Matlin, former general manager of the Hawaii Islanders baseball team. Matlin graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in 1987. Matlin was named athletic director at the University of Hawaii at Manoa on March 25, 2015.

Eugene Gill

Eugene Luke Gill (August 8, 1898 – October 11, 1981) was an American football, basketball, baseball coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at the University of Hawaii from 1940 to 1941. In 1941, Gill and Tom Kaulukukui were co-head coaches. Gill was born on August 8, 1898, in Eugene, Oregon, and raised in the Salem, Oregon area. He attended Oregon Agricultural College–now known as Oregon State University—where he lettered in football and ran track. He was the brother of Slats Gill, who was head basketball coach, head baseball coach, and athletic director at Oregon State. Gill died on October 11, 1981, at Veterans Administration Medical Center in Roseburg, Oregon.

Hank Vasconcellos

Henry B. Vasconcellos (April 30, 1911 – February 26, 1996) was an American football coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Hawaii from 1952 to 1960.He died in 1996.

Herman Frazier

Herman Ronald "Herm" Frazier (born October 29, 1954) is a retired American sprinter. He won gold medals in the 4×400 m relay at the 1976 Olympics and 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games. Individually he earned a bronze medal in the 400 m event at the 1976 Olympics. He served as chef de mission of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team and as the Athletic Director at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Hawaii.

List of college athletic programs in Hawaii

The main article is College sports.


This list is in a tabular format, with columns arranged in the following order, from left to right:

Athletic team description (short school name and nickname), with a link to the school's athletic program article if it exists. When only one nickname is listed, it is used for teams of both sexes. (Note that in recent years, many schools have chosen to use the same nickname for men's and women's teams even when the nickname is distinctly masculine.) When two nicknames are given, the first is used for men's teams and the other is used for women's teams. Different nicknames for a specific sport within a school are noted separately below the table.

Full name of school.

Location of school.

Conference of the school (if conference column is left blank, the school is either independent or the conference is unknown).

Apart from the ongoing conversions, the following notes apply:

Following the normal standard of U.S. sports media, the terms "University" and "College" are ignored in alphabetization, unless necessary to distinguish schools (such as Boston College and Boston University) or are actually used by the media in normally describing the school, such as the College of Charleston.

Schools are also alphabetized by the names they are most commonly referred to by sports media, with non-intuitive examples included in parentheses next to the school name. This means, for example, that campuses bearing the name "University of North Carolina" may variously be found at "C" (Charlotte), "N" (North Carolina, referring to the Chapel Hill campus), and "U" (the Asheville, Greensboro, Pembroke, and Wilmington campuses, all normally referred to as UNC-{campus name}).

The prefix "St.", as in "Saint", is alphabetized as if it were spelled out.

M. Francois D'Eliscu

Milton Francois D'Eliscu (November 10, 1895 – October 15, 1972) was an American military officer, football and basketball coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Temple University from 1922 to 1923, compiling a record of 1–9–1. D'Eliscu was also the head basketball coach at Temple from 1919 to 1923, tallying a mark of 30–22. He was the athletic director at the University of Hawaii at Manoa from 1946 to 1947. D'Eliscu was an alumnus of Swarthmore College. He died on October 15, 1972 in Sarasota, Florida.

Neal S. Blaisdell Center

The Neal S. Blaisdell Center is a community center near downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. The complex has a multi-purpose arena, concert hall, exhibition hall, galleria, meeting rooms, Waikiki Shell and others.

Constructed in 1964 on the historic Ward Estate and originally called the Honolulu International Center, the center was renamed after Mayor of Honolulu Neal S. Blaisdell, who oversaw its construction. It was remodeled and expanded in 1994. The complex is overseen by the City's Department of Enterprise Services which also oversees the Waikiki Shell. The city is seeking to redevelop the site with extensive stakeholder and public involvement to assess the community's goals. Implementation of this plan will require significant investment by the City and its partners over the coming years, and the outcome will be an iconic symbol of the City and County of Honolulu.

Otto Klum

Otto "Proc" Klum (October 17, 1892 – September 24, 1944) was an American football and basketball coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of Hawaii from 1921 to 1939. Klum is the most successful coach in Hawaii football history having compiled a career record of 84–51–7. His 1925 team went 10–0. Klum was also the head basketball coach at Hawaii for two seasons from 1921 to 1923, tallying a mark of 13–8. Klum was notorious for running up the score. In the 1926 season, his team scored more than 100 points twice. His teams also scored more than 80 points in two other games in 1923 and 1925.

Klum died on September 24, 1944, of a heart attack near Ashland, Oregon. He was born near Ashland on October 17, 1892. Klum Gym, on the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus, is named after the former coach. Klum is an inductee of the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame.

Paul Durham (American football)

Paul H. Durham (October 18, 1913 – June 22, 2007) was an American football and basketball coach. He served as the head football coach at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon from 1948 to 1967. During his tenure, he began a string of consecutive winning seasons at Linfield that continues to this day. He also served as Linfield's head men's basketball coach from 1949 to 1972. Durham concluded his career as the athletic director at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Phil Sarboe

Philip John Sarboe (August 22, 1911 – November 19, 1985) was an American football player and coach. He was the head coach for five seasons at Washington State College in the late 1940s, and later for over a decade at Humboldt State College.

Ray Nagel

Raymond Robert Nagel (May 18, 1927 – January 15, 2015) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He was the head football coach at the University of Utah from 1958 to 1965 and the University of Iowa from 1966 to 1970, compiling a career college football coaching record of 58–71–3 (.455). After coaching, Nagel was the athletic director at Washington State University from 1971 to 1976 and the University of Hawaii at Manoa from 1976 to 1983. From 1990 to 1995, he was the executive director of the Hula Bowl, a college football invitational all-star game in Hawaii.

Rocky Freitas

Rockne Crowningburg "Rocky" Freitas (born September 7, 1945) is a former American football offensive tackle who played for the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an eleven-year career that lasted from 1968 to 1978 in the National Football League.

Freitas played college football at Oregon State University and was drafted in the third round of the 1967 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1972 season. His son Makoa was selected in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

Freitas is currently the Chancellor at the University of Hawaii–West Oahu (UHWO). In November 2010, he was instrumental in negotiating a move of the UH football team from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West Conference, which is to take place before the 2012 season.

Freitas is a former chancellor of Hawaii Community College in Hilo, Hawaii.

Stan Sheriff

Bruce Stanley Sheriff (April 24, 1932 – January 16, 1993) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He played college football at California Polytechnic State University from 1950 to 1953 and professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns between 1954 and 1957. Sheriff served as the head football coach at the University of Northern Iowa from 1960 to 1982, compiling a record of 129–101–4. The football field inside the UNI-Dome, Northern Iowa's football stadium, is named Sheriff Field in his honor. Sheriff was then the athletic director at the University of Hawaii at Manoa from 1983 until his death in 1993. He died on January 16, 1993, in Honolulu, Hawaii, after suffering a heart attack at Honolulu International Airport. The Stan Sheriff Center, the home venue for Hawaii's basketball and volleyball teams, was renamed in his honor in 1998.

Stan Sheriff Center

The Stan Sheriff Center is a 10,300-seat multi-purpose arena in Honolulu CDP, City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii, on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Initially named the Special Events Arena when it opened in 1994, the arena was renamed in 1998 after Stan Sheriff (1932–1993), a former UH athletic director who lobbied for its construction.

Tom Kaulukukui

Thomas Kaauwai Kaulukukui (January 22, 1913 – March 9, 2007) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Hawaii in 1941, as co-head coach with Eugene Gill, and from 1946 to 1950. Kaulukukui was also a standout college athlete who earned 17 letters in five sports and was the University of Hawaii's first All-American football player. His number, #32, remains the only number to have ever been retired by the Hawaii football program. Kaulukukui died on March 9, 2007 at the age of 94.

UC Riverside Highlanders

The UC Riverside Highlanders (also UCR) represent the University of California, Riverside in Riverside, California in intercollegiate athletics. The Highlanders compete in NCAA Division I; they are members of the Big West Conference.The athletic department fields fifteen teams including men and women's basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field, women's-only softball and volleyball and men's-only baseball.

Waipi‘o Peninsula Soccer Stadium

Waipi‘o Peninsula Soccer Stadium is a 4,500 seat soccer-specific stadium located on the grounds of the Waipio Soccer Complex in Waipahu, Hawaiʻi. WPSS also boasts two main locker rooms, two training rooms, concession booths and administrative offices.

The stadium is used by the University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Wahine (women's) soccer team, along with several senior and junior local teams from the island of Oʻahu.Outside of the stadium, the complex features 23 FIFA regulation soccer pitches.

Men's athletics
Women's athletics

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