Todd Graham, University of Hawaii football coach, resigned Friday after being accused of creating a toxic environment in the football program.
Graham was hired by UH in January 2020 after Nick Rolovich left. Graham’s coaching career at UH saw ended with a record of 11-11.
He just finished the second year on a five-year contract.
The nearly month-long wait since Hawaii’s last regular season game was over has been turbulent, partly due to the COVID-related cancellation of the Hawaii Bowl.
Three days after the 38-14 win against Wyoming, Dae Dae Hunter, the team’s top rusher, announced that he was entering the transfer portal.
Just one day later, Chevan Cordeiro, the starting quarterback — a highly sought-after Hawaii recruit who was a star at Saint Louis School. Cordeiro who had earned team captain honors with Rainbow Warriors decided to leave as well.
Cordeiro signed with San Jose State, a MW Conference team.
The departures sparked a Twitter discussion in which hundreds of people listened as former and current players “described a dysfunctional team culture under Graham.”
Players felt that the incompetent coaching and a troubled locker room environment had taken away their passion for the game.
One player stated, “I have played on a 1-11 team and have never felt like this.”
As the days passed, more allegations were made, including players claiming that Graham verbally abused players and demeaning assistant coaches.
Graham also was over heard saying he just wanted to use Hawaii as a “steppingstone” to a better coaching job.
Nick Mardner, the team’s top receiver, made the announcement on Christmas Eve that he would be entering the transfer portal.
That Tuesday, linebacker Jonah Laulu, lineman Jonah Muasau and Justus Tavai all announced that made the same announcement via social media.
This left a total of 17 players with the intention to leave the Rainbow Warriors.
Last week, former players at the state Senate briefing testified that Graham created an unhealthy locker room environment which led to a division between scholarship players, walk-ons, and others.
Last season, some players portrayed him as a hypocrite, a tyrant and verbally abusive.
Graham released the following statement after his resignation:
“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. The University has not asked me to step down. I am leaving solely for my family and my health.”
Graham’s resignation places the university in a position of not owing any additional money to Graham. They will owe him for normal reimbursements and compensation earned to date.
Jacob Yoro, UH’s linebackers coach, has been appointed interim head coach. The search for a new head coach starts immediately.