Hawaii DC Lempa resigns, Suiaunoa takes over

Legi Suiaunoa / Hawaii Athletics

HONOLULU – Legi Suiaunoa has been promoted to defensive coordinator, University of Hawai’i head football coach Nick Rolovich announced Friday.

Suiaunoa served as defensive line coach last season and succeeds Kevin Lempa, who announced his resignation. Suiaunoa will continue to oversee the defensive line.

“This move provides stability to our defense, something our kids deserve,” Rolovich said. “Legi has proven to be successful at coaching the defensive line. He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do and he’s commanded his position group. I truly believe Legi is ready for the challenge and this opportunity. He’s earned my trust.”

Rolovich also announced special teams coordinator Mayur Chaudhari will coach the defensive ends while offensive coordinator Brian Smith will handle the tight ends and running backs.

Last season under Suiaunoa, the defensive line produced 25 tackles-for-loss, 8.5 sacks, and eight quarterback hurries. Defensive end Meffy Koloamatangi was an honorable mention all-Mountain West pick and end Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea started all 14 games and was the unit’s leader in tackles with 45.

In addition to coaching the defensive line, Suiaunoa is the lead recruiter in American Samoa, where the Warriors inked five defensive players over the past two signing classes. He joined Rolovich’s inaugural staff after five seasons as defensive line coach at Montana. The Oceanside, Calif., native has one previous stint as defensive coordinator at Eastern Oregon in 2009.

Suiaunoa has also coached at Portland State, Western Washington, Nevada, and Palomar Junior College.

The Rainbow Warriors will conduct spring camp Feb. 23-March 23.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s