Feature article on Jim Donovan

About the similarities between running an Athletic Department and steering a super tanker, JD said:
“It’s like steering a super tanker. You turn the wheel and it may be 10 to 15 miles down-ocean before you see it start to turn because it takes some time for something that large to respond. And that’s true for something as large as the athletic department.” (HSB)

About how his actions are constantly being evaluated, JD said:
“I’ll be judged most effectively probably a couple of years after my tenure is done. But I’m judged every day, every week, every month, every year on all those aspects.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Donovan often speaks of the dual aims of the athletic department being education and entertainment and decisions on coaching positions “ties into both sides.” Academically, 93 current or former student-athletes participated in the fall or spring commencement exercises and 183 were honored for maintaining grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher. Several programs also made significant strides under the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate. In the competitive sphere, nine UH teams earned postseason berths and two — women’s volleyball and men’s tennis — won Western Athletic Conference championships. The school produced five All-Americans and 29 all-conference performers in 2008-09.”

About coaching in college today, JD said:
“Being a head coach today is a daunting task. Your product changes 20 to 25 percent (in player turnover) every year. It’s a tough thing to stay at the top with all those changes, but that’s what you have to do. (Those coaching decisions are) part and parcel of my tenure and part of the grade I should receive. But the next big decision is whatever’s coming up next. That’s just the nature of intercollegiate athletics today. You just have to stay on top of your game, and have a vision of where you want things to go.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Donovan said the department shaved $1.3 million off its operational expenses and is looking for ways to raise revenue. He said selling the inner circle of parking at Aloha Stadium through Koa Anuenue generated $150,000 for UH and other measures that could reduce the department’s game-day expenses are being discussed. He also sees expanding the school’s reach into the Pacific Rim as a long-term component to increasing the fan base.”

About how he realizes how important UH Athletics is to the state of Hawaii, JD said:
“I come into this job every day and there’s a lot of self-put pressure because I realize how important UH athletics is to our state. When we are winning and things are going well, there are a lot of positive vibes around our state.” (HSB)



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