Celebrating Coach Rolo

LIHUE — Marissa Purcell, Kauai High School assistant athletic director, said she was a ball girl for the Unversity of Hawaii football team, but not as the same time as Nicholas Rolovich.

Rolovich, affectionately known as “Nick,” or “Rolo,” was on Kauai on Tuesday to visit with Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., a former University of Hawaii football player.

In anticipation of Rolovich’s first season as the head of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team, Carvalho proclaimed Tuesday “Coach Rolo Day” as a show of support for the team’s success.

Purcell, whose husband, Mel Purcell was a former University of Hawaii player, joined other football enthusiasts and Carvalho in meeting Rolovich in a small lunch gathering where everyone could “talk football” at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

After leading his high school team to two league championships in California and leading the City College of San Francisco to a national championship in 1999, Rolovich transferred to the University of Hawaii as a player in 2000.

During the 2001 season, Rolovich earned the starting quarterback spot and led the Warriors to an 8-1 record.

In his last season game against rival Brigham Young University, Rolovich played Bowl Championship Series spoiler for the Cougars, lighting up the turn and setting two single-game school records of eight touchdowns and 543 yards.

“I was at that game,” said Michael Dahilig, Kauai planning director and a former University of Hawaii Regent. “It was crowded and while we were waiting, I heard the cannons go off and the crowd going wild, and I told myself, ‘Boy, they’re starting, early!”

Rolovich returned to Hawaii following his retirement from the National Football League, serving as quarterbacks coach in 2008 and offensive coordinator in 2010 before being hired by the University of Nevada as offensive coordinator.

Rolovich returned to Hawaii in November to serve as the Rainbow Warriors’ new head football coach.

Rolovich will return with his coaching staff on June 22 to host a free keiki and older kids football clinic with Rolovich and his coaches at Vidinha Stadium from 9 a.m. to noon.

On June 23, Na Koa football club will be hosting a golf tournament as well as a Meet the Coach event in the evening with Coach Rolo.

Information on the clinic: 241-4460.

For the golf tournament: Dave Hinazumi, 245-3678.

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