Feature story on how the Hawaii Bowl’s David Matlin got Notre Dame

Praising Hawaii Bowl Executive Director David Matlin for his pursuit of Notre Dame, JD said:
“He planted that seed and nurtured it. Dave initiated the idea (to contact Notre Dame) and it came to fruition.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Matlin worked with Donovan in running the bowl game for the last six years and was hired by ESPN Regional Television, owner of the Hawaii Bowl, to succeed Donovan last spring. A year from now Matlin will also be in charge of the inaugural Diamond Head Classic, an eight-team college basketball tournament.”

About his busy work schedule, Matlin said:
“My wife (Dana) and kids (Kisa, 13, and Ross, 11) are very understanding.” (HSB)

About how he was able to sleep 5 hours one night last week, Matlin said:
“The first few nights your mind is racing so it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep. But that night was nice.” (HSB)

About all the things that are needed to run a bowl game, Matlin said:
“It’s like you’re running a sprint, but you’re running a sprint for 20 days.” (HSB)

About learning from his Dad, who was the GM of the Hawaii Islanders in 1963-1964 and also worked in Vancouver, Seattle, Milwaukee and Detroit, Matlin said:
“To go to work with my dad was a great thing. The biggest thing I learned from him was at the end of the day it’s all about relationships and people.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Matlin, a Michigan graduate, worked his way into a job with the Houston Astros and became their director of sales at 26, before returning to Hawaii six years later in 1993.”

About leaving the Astros to move to Hawaii, Matlin said:
“Baseball was my passion and my dream. But it’s the best move I’ve ever made, across the board.” (HSB)

About how he “semi-stalked” JD (then the associate AD at UH) because he needed a job in Hawaii, meeting him a few days after an emergency appendectomy, Matlin said:
“I could barely walk. I think he felt sorry for me. ” (HSB)

HSB Note: “With the university in the midst of a hiring freeze, Donovan could only offer an hourly wage with no benefits, although Matlin was, “as qualified for my job as I was,” Donovan said. Matlin’s first duty was to coordinate the UH basketball team’s Midnight Ohana. He eventually was hired to work in the ticket office, where he was instrumental in implementing a computerized ticketing system, a task he calls “probably one of the most valuable experiences I’ve had.””

About joining JD in 2002 to run the new Hawaii Bowl, Matlin (who was a financial planner at the time JD called) said:
“We wanted to create an event that would really give Hawaii exposure and would be an opportunity for Hawaii to shine across the country and help the tourism industry and local businesses.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “They had 90 days to pull their first bowl game together after being hired by ESPN Regional Television, the game’s owner. But they got it done in time to host Hawaii and Tulane in the inaugural event and continually streamlined the process over the next five games.”

About how he has bonded with Matlin like he did with his OL teammates, JD said:
“When I played on the offensive line (at UH in the early 1980s), we played so much together you knew what the guy next to you was going to do before he did. That’s how it is with me and Dave.” (HSB)

About how his schedule will more hectic next year when he also will be involved with the Diamond Head Classic, Matlin said:
“Right now I’m just focused on the task at hand.” (HSB)


%d bloggers like this: