Maui News

Graham resigns as UH head football coach

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Todd Graham has resigned as head football coach at the University of Hawai‘i, administrators announced today. Graham was hired in January 2020 and had just completed the second year of a five-year contract.

Since the departure is a resignation, no additional monies will be owed to Graham, aside from the normal reimbursements and compensation earned.

“Todd informed me of his decision to resign,” said UH Athletics Director David Matlin in a UH press release. “We enjoyed many successes under his leadership even as he faced pandemic conditions, the withdrawal of Aloha Stadium, and the prohibition of any fans for nearly all his time with us. Todd’s tireless efforts as a coach have made a positive impact on many student-athletes. We have talked at length, and it is clear he has taken this action so that the football program can thrive moving forward.”

The search for the new head coach begins immediately.


Graham issued the following statement: 

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the Head Football Coach at the University of Hawai‘i for the past two seasons. After much prayer and reflection with my family, I have come to the conclusion that I will step away as head coach of the Rainbow Warriors, with a very heavy heart. I want to give my thanks and appreciation to the players, staff and coaches who persevered through all the challenges of 2020 and 2021. It wasn’t easy, but they all fought the good fight and we did things the right way.

Our staff poured our hearts and souls into our players and truly made a difference in their lives. I could not have asked more of their commitment, work ethic and love for our players and football program. But it is clear to me that I must step away and do what is best for me and my family and my health. I honor, value and love all of my players and coaches and I wish you the very best. The University has not asked me to step down. I am leaving solely for my family and my health. We have laid a strong foundation for future success, and I will always be cheering you on!


May God Bless You, Coach Todd Graham

He was 11-11 in two seasons with the Rainbow Warriors and qualified for bowl games in both years, defeating Houston 28-14 in the New Mexico Bowl on Christmas Eve in 2020. Hawai‘i also qualified for the EasyPost Hawaiʻi Bowl in 2021. This past season, the Rainbow Warriors also upset nationally ranked Fresno State and defeated Wyoming on the road for the first time since 1991.

Senator Donna Mercado Kim, chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee issued a statement following the resignation calling the action “a relief.”


“It’s never an easy process for us as legislators to investigate and call out these types of allegations,” said Sen. Kim. “With Coach Graham’s resignation, there is an opportunity for the athletics department to find a head coach that will be a better fit for the football program. It is my hope that the next head coach will be someone who will not only help elevate UH football to the next level, but who will also prioritize the physical and emotional wellbeing of our student athletes.” 


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