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Hawaii hires Todd Graham as new head football coach

The Rainbow Warriors have found their successor to Rolo

NCAA Football: Arizona at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One week after surprisingly losing Nick Rolovich to Washington State, Hawaii has found a replacement, and it’s somewhat of a surprise: former Rice, Tulsa, Pittsburgh, and most recently Arizona State head coach Todd Graham will be announced as Hawaii’s 24th head coach at a press conference tomorrow.

The names floated for the Hawaii job included mostly internal candidates like Brian Smith, Craig Stutzmann, Mark Banker, and Corey Batoon. Over the course of the week long search, Virginia offensive coordinator Robert Anae’s name picked up steam. Brigham Young special teams coordinator Ed Lamb was also a candidate. It seemed as if that was the crop in which Hawaii athletic director Dave Matlin was picking from, until The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman dropped a late name into the process: Todd Graham.

This hire has produced mixed reactions. On one hand, Graham is 95-61 overall as a head coach. He’s had success at the Group of 5 level (Tulsa) and throws the ball a ton. On the other hand, he’s not from Hawaii or has ever been a part of the program. Understanding the culture of Hawaii as a state and its football program is essential to succeeding there. Will Graham assimilate? Time will tell.

We’ll update this post tomorrow with details from the press conference. In the mean time, comment below about your thoughts on this hire?