Saturday, July 22, 2017

fans showed up to see Tomey's teams / Rise of the Rainbow Warriors

It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years since a UCLA assistant started his decade-long tenure at Manoa that changed UH football forever.

The confluence of Tomey’s hiring, a new stadium and football conference membership for the first time — all within the space of a couple of years — spurred unprecedented statewide popularity for the program. Attendance gradually climbed, as did the Rainbows’ talent level, quality of play and overall relevance.

After Tomey’s first year, the ’Bows posted five winning seasons in a row, peaking with the 1981 team that won its first seven games and finished 9-2.

Sometimes fans complained about what they saw as a bland offense in those years. But they showed up anyway, often filling the stadium to see UH’s trademark hard-hitting defense.

The biggest Aloha Stadium crowd in 1976 was for the last game with Larry Price as coach, when 33,737 saw a 68-3 loss to Nebraska.

Every home game drew more than 40,000 in 1987, when UH went 7-5 in Tomey’s last season.

*** [8/8/17]

“Rise of the Rainbow Warriors,” a new book from Watermark Publishing, will be released in early October. Authored by former University of Hawaii head football coach Dick Tomey, the book chronicles and celebrates the Tomey era of Rainbow Warrior football, which lasted from 1977 through 1986.

2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the hiring of Coach Tomey at UH.

Although Tomey’s Hawaii teams never won a conference championship or went to a postseason bowl game, his ten seasons at UH represented a special time in UH football history. The Tomey era brought record home attendance numbers, national television exposure, and the program’s first-ever national ranking.

“Rise of the Rainbow Warriors” examines the challenges and opportunities that the program faced during Tomey’s UH coaching tenure. In riveting detail, Coach Tomey shares behind-the-scenes stories that capture the spirit of his Rainbow Warriors teams: the amazing triumphs, the bitter disappointments and the lessons that were learned. Each chapter covers a different aspect of the Tomey era, including recruiting, the big games and the storied rivalry with BYU.

In addition, the book includes contributions from many of Coach Tomey’s former players and assistant coaches, including Blane Gaison, Falaniko Noga, Jesse Sapolu, Gary Allen, David Toloumu, Dana McLemore, Rich Miano, Joe Onosai, Mark Kafentzis, Nu’u Fa’aola, Walter Murray, Jeff Duva and others. “Rise of the Rainbow Warriors” also features 40 full-color and b/w photos.

The book was co-authored by Lance Tominaga, Web Editor at ESPN 1420.


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