UH-Hilo Narrows AD Search to Two Finalists

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The University of Hawai’i at Hilo is officially getting closer to hiring its first full-time athletic director since Dexter Irvin left the school at the end of 2013.

UH-Hilo announced Friday that it has narrowed its search down to two finalists: current Notre Dame de Namur athletic director Joshua Doody and former college AD Patrick Guillen.

Since Irvin’s departure to the College of Southern Nevada, two different interim athletic directors have had control of the school’s athletic department. Tim Moore, current head of UH-Hilo’s Student Life Center, held the position throughout 2014 but was not retained. Former baseball coach and athletic director Joey Estrella is currently sitting in that position until the new AD is named.

Doody has been the athletic director at Notre Dame de Namur, a fellow PacWest Conference institution, since 2005. During his tenure at NDNU, he successfully helped lead the athletic program’s transition from NAIA athletics to the NCAA Division II level. The Argonauts twice won the PacWest Community Engagement Award, most recently in 2014. He also formed the department’s booster club.


Guillen was a former athletic director at Cal State University – Dominguez Hills, his first AD job. During his tenure there, he raised $900,000 for improvements to athletic facilities and increased the department’s endowment fund from $17,000 to almost $600,000 in eight years.

Dr. Randy Hirokawa headed the school’s screening committee, which was comprised of himself, four community members, two faculty members, and one student-athlete.

Community members on the screening committee were Jason Fujimoto, Craig Takamine, Jan Higashi, and James Correa. Faculty representatives were Michelle Ebersole, Director of the UH-Hilo School of Education, and Cheryl Ramos, Professor of Psychology. The lone student-athlete representative was cross country runner Jordan Concannon.


“The posting deadline on the search was March 4th,” Hirokawa said to Big Island Now. “We started meeting on March 12th.”

Hirokawa said that there were 124 applications for the open position. From there, the committee narrowed down the names to those who met the minimum qualifications, then cut down the search to 16 candidates. Phone interviews followed, slimming the search down to eight. An in-depth question-and-answer interview narrowed the field down to five candidates, which were then given to Chancellor Donald Straney.

Both candidates will get an opportunity to meet with the community in the coming weeks, giving a statement on their goals and taking questions from audience members. Doody will meet with the community on June 19, while Guillen will appear on June 23. Both will take place at 4 p.m. at UH-Hilo’s UCB 127.


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