Aloha Rich Rodriguez. Both Hawaii and Arizona have announced a partnership to play a home and home series beginning in 2019. The first game in the series according to the Hawaii press release, will be in Aloha Stadium on August 31 2019. The next season both the Warriors and the Wildcats will meeet in Tuscon September 5 of 2020.
Hawaii usually attracts at least one major conference program to the islands a year. The trip can be a difficult one for mainland teams. The journey is long, at least four to six hours from the West Coast, and the evening kickoffs can be inconvenient for players whose body clocks are at 11pm or midnight.
What makes the announcement interesting is the uncertainty that by the end of the decade, both programs could have different coaches. Rodriguez and Norm Chow are entering their first year at Arizona and Hawaii respectively. Chow is a first year head coach and Rodriguez was chased out of Ann Arbor after a disastrous experience with Michigan.
On the press release, Hawaii Athletic Director Jim Donovan made clear his commitment to play Pac-12 teams,
“We continue to try and schedule Pac -12 opponents on a home and home basis and we’re proud to announce Arizona as our most recent addition. They have a great program and we have mutual history because Dick Tomey was the head coach for both schools for so many years. We don’t often play in Tucson so it will be nice treat for our fans in that area of the country.”
The islands are known for producing plenty of FBS talent. The series will benefit both schools as it gives the Warriors program exposure in the mainland and vice versa for Arizona in Hawaii.
If (and it is a big if) Rodriguez and Chow are on the sidelines when both schools meet in 2019, than it stands to reason each coach has had a decent level of success. Two quality programs playing each other to start a season, is always something to look forward to.