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Names of Ex-UW Assistants Emerge as Hawaii Needs Football Coach

If interested, Ikaika Malloe and Keith Bhonapha might rate strong consideration for the job

Todd Graham's resignation as Hawaii football coach amid allegations that he was abusive to his players shouldn't affect anyone on the current University of Washington staff, but it might impact one or more of the former Husky coaches who've recently taken a job elsewhere.

Among the coaching names emerging right away in the islands as possible candidates are Ikaika Malloe and Keith Bhonapha, one-time Jimmy Lake staffers now the UCLA outside linebackers coach and the Boise State associate head coach and running-backs coach, respectively. 

A native Hawaiian, Malloe, 46, served as the Rainbow Warriors defensive-line coach and special-teams coordinator in 2008, a stop that came midway between him playing safety and outside linebacker for the Huskies and then coaching for the past six seasons  at the UW.

Bhonapha, 41, played cornerback and safety for Hawaii in 1999 to 2002 and the California native stayed on with the Rainbow Warriors as a graduate assistant for the next three seasons.

Ikaika Malloe and UW defensive lineman Josiah Bronson celebrate.

Ikaika Malloe celebrates with UW defensive lineman Josiah Bronson.

These two coaches are lumped in with several people who have previous connections with the Mountain West school, among them Robert Anae, Syracuse offensive coordinator; Timmy Chang, Colorado State receivers coach; Chad Kauha’aha’a, UCLA defensive-line coach; Brian Norwood, UCLA associate head coach, passing-game coordinator and defensive-backs coach; Tony Tuioti, Oregon defensive-line coach; Brian Smith, former Hawaii and Washington State offensive coordinator; and June Jones, former Hawaii coach.

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With his lengthy UW coaching background and UCLA quickly hiring him, Malloe is considered a popular choice as a possible replacement for Graham, the former Arizona State head coach who stepped down from his Rainbow Warriors post on Friday. Originally a member of Chris Petersen's UW coaching staff, Malloe is considered an ace recruiter, especially when it comes to signing players of Polynesian descent.

Bhonapha likewise has built strong credentials and seems ready to move up in the coaching world, notably after becoming an associate head coach on his return to Boise State, where he coached before coming to the UW as part of Petersen's staff.

Hawaii is not averse to hiring an assistant coach as its football leader, previously promoting offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich to Rainbow Warriors head coach before he left for Washington State and was fired for refusing to be vaccinated as required by the state. 

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