Fired UH offensive coordinator earns more than governor

Courtesy: University of Hawaii
Courtesy: University of Hawaii

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Former University of Hawaii offensive coordinator Aaron Price will still earn a chunk of his salary as part of a buyout.

Last Friday, UH dismissed Price months into his position.

Athletics Director Ben Jay says this firing, weeks before the start of the football season, is unfortunate.

“Sometimes it’s better to settle and get it over with it, and move on.” Jay said.

The $125,000-a-year offensive coordinator was let go from the university less than six months on the job.

“We’re paying an offensive coordinator more than we pay the governor,” Sen. Brian Taniguchi (D) Manoa, Makiki, Punchbowl said.

Governor Abercrombie’s annual salary is $117,312.

Sen. Taniguchi serves as chair of the Senate committee on higher education. He says this latest firing adds to the public’s mistrust.

KHON2 has learned that Price will be employed by the school until the end of October. Then he will receive a lump sum of what’s left of his contract that ends in February — about $40,000.

“It’s not a loss, it’s already built into the budget. They are just going to go without the position for the rest of the year,” Jay said.

“What about taxpayers or football fans who say we’re paying this money to someone who’s not working?” KHON2 asked.

“It’s unfortunate but again, in the best interest of the program. It’s best that we separate,” Jay said.

This is yet another contract buyout the athletics department has dealt with. Previous buyouts include former head coach Greg McMackin ($600,000), former athletics director Herman Frazier ($300,000), and former head coach Fred von Appen ($260,000).

“Happens every day in the business world, happens every day in the work world, happens every day in athletics” Jay said.

“It’s not just free and clear autonomy to spend what you want to spend. Because there’s state tax monies involved, that we do have to take a look at how those monies are spent,” Sen. Taniguchi said.

Jay declined to say why Price was let go.

Related story: Offensive coordinator no longer with UH Rainbow Warriors

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