Feature article on Mark Kafentzis

About how strangers approach him all the time to ask if he played football for UH, Mark Kafentzis said:
“It’s pretty amazing how many people remember us.” (HSB)

About the Kafentzis legacy at UH, Mark (who was the first of 8 family members to play for UH) said:
“Between myself and four brothers, two sons and a nephew. I guess it was the start of something. I wouldn’t know for sure, but I’d be hard-pressed to think that anybody’s sent as many people to one college playing football as we have to Hawaii.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Since Kafentzis, who now lives in Puyallup, Wash., transferred to UH from Columbia Basin (Wash.) College, the family earned 22 letters over the next 29 years. Tyson Kafentzis, the second of Mark’s sons to play for the Warriors, just finished his career in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl last Christmas Eve.”

About how he talked to a cousin who was stationed at the Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe when he was choosing which school to play for, Mark said:
“I went over there, liked the climate, knew the WAC was a good passing league and knew it would be good for me as a DB.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Kafentzis redshirted his first year and was a starting safety in 1980 and ’81. Relying heavily on defense, the Rainbow Warriors went 17-5 in those years and earned the school’s first national ranking in 1981. Kafentzis played a pivotal role in a 16-13 homecoming win over West Virginia in 1980, knocking Mountaineers quarterback Oliver Luck out of the game (a fact Luck reminded him of when they crossed paths in the NFL) and recovering a fumble that set up Jim Asmus’ game-winning field goal.”

About how his sons Landon and Tyson played for UH, Mark said:
“They had a great run there with the bowl games. I wish they would have had the Hawaii Bowl when we were playing because we certainly had good enough teams back then. It was basically the Holiday Bowl or nothing.” (HSB)

About how Mark and his brothers were his role models when he walked on to UH, Rich Miano said:
“I really looked up to him because his work ethic was tremendous. He was strong, he was fast, he was diligent. So he had a lot to do with my career being successful. He was kind of a leader, so we were like pups following the big dog around. It’s amazing how many people in Hawaii still ask me, ‘Are you a Kafentzis?’ We share a bond being safeties in the same era.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Not everyone in the Kafentzis clan matriculated to Hawaii. One of Mark’s nephews played for Oregon and another (“if you can believe that”) went to BYU.”



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