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UHH AD candidate: Community, camaraderie key

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Joshua Doody made his pitch for the vacant UH-Hilo athletic director’s job on Friday, calling the Big Island a “unique and special place,” during an hour-long presentation that included not live but questions written on index cards.

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Joshua Doody made his pitch for the vacant UH-Hilo athletic director’s job on Friday, calling the Big Island a “unique and special place,” during an hour-long presentation that included not live but questions written on index cards.

The Notre Dame de Namur AD told a gathering of about 20 people, including most who were UHH personnel, that he preferred a “slower pace of life.”

UHH’s other AD candidate, former Cal State Dominguez Hills AD Jose Guillen, will offer his presentation on Tuesday at the school’s campus.

On Nov. 22, 2014, UHH chancellor Donald Straney wrote in a guest column that he was “looking forward to hiring someone who can work effectively with athletes, coaches and the community.”

Straney also made a plea to the community asking for help with sponsorships, raising scholarship funds or attending games.

Doody spent the first part of his speech highlighting the community involvement and relationships NDNU has with the school’s hometown in Belmont, Calif., in the hub of Silicon Valley.

He also mentioned that the most important thing for an AD is the camaraderie that involves an athletic department’s staff and filters down to the community. He talked about “not pointing fingers, and building good morale.”

As for issues with gaining sponsorships, raising athletic funds or attending games, Doody didn’t have any specific points on the first two parts.

He didn’t reveal if he had any local ties that might help in those areas either.

Doody emphasized that community involvement helps with attendance, and expressed surprise that UHH doesn’t have a summer basketball camp.

The Vulcans Basketball School was run at UHH for nearly four decades by legendary former coach Jimmy Yagi and player Bill O’Rear. In 2013, the inaugural Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp started, sponsored by the county and the Big Island All-Stars, held at Hilo Civic and Panaewa Gym.

The Vulcans are one of two public schools in the 13-team Pacific West Conference, and the lowest funded. NDNU’s endowment was $16.3 million in 2013, according to U.S. News, but Doody noted the struggles of raising funds in Silicon Valley.

“Oracle is right down the street, but Larry Ellison is not opening the door for colleges, and there’s Stanford and the University of San Francisco in the other direction,” he said. “Everybody is after the same thing. There’s more competition.”

Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, has a reported net worth of $53.6 billion and most of his donations have been to the Ellison Medical Foundation. Stanford has an endowment of over $21 billion.

Doody said raising funds at UHH would require ground work and research, and mentioned grant writing and seeking donors outside the Big Island.

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UHH has 12 sports with a budget of $2.6 million with 70 percent designated for travel, and stands as the most isolated school in the league, adding to airfare expenses.

On Oahu, there’s BYU-Hawaii, Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific. BYUH will shut down its athletics program after the 2016-17 season, leaving three schools in Hawaii and nine on the mainland, more than enough for conference affiliation; the minimum requirement is six members.

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