The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Athletics Department UH Sports Circle of Honor has announced its 39th class, which includes Nani Cockett (women’s basketball), radio announcer Bobby Curran, UH Athletics Director David Matlin, Barbara “Bobbie” Perry (women’s indoor volleyball) and Katie Spieler (women’s beach volleyball).
The Class of 2023 will be officially enshrined during the Green & White Celebration scheduled for March 25 at The Royal Hawaiian Resort. The Circle of Honor Class of 2021—Colt Brennan, Amber Kaufman, Robert Kekaula and Edwin Wong—will also be honored at the celebration.
As UH Athletics celebrates the 50th anniversary of Title IX, three women enter the Circle this year, including Spieler, who is the beach volleyball program’s first-ever inductee. Cockett is the third women’s basketball player inducted and Perry is the 14th women’s volleyball player. Curran becomes the sixth announcer to be recognized and Matlin is the 10th athletics director to enter the circle.
The Circle of Honor started in 1982 to recognize individuals and teams who have contributed to the growth, history and tradition of UH Athletics. Including this year’s class, there are 132 members in the circle, representing 12 teams.
2023 Circle of Honor inductees
Cockett lettered at UH from 1993–98 and finished as the program’s second-leading scorer. She ranked among UH’s top five in scoring average, field goals, three-pointers, steals and 20-point games. She led UH to three NCAA tournament appearances, and later spent time with the WNBA‘s Los Angeles Sparks and also played professionally in Israel, Switzerland and Greece.
Curran, a longtime radio announcer, has been the voice of the Rainbow Warriors for three decades, calling football and men’s basketball games since the 1990s. He has called more than 400 broadcasts during 32 football seasons—the longest announcing streak in UH football history. He was named Hawaiʻi Sportscaster of the Year six times by the National Sports Media Association.
Matlin, who will retire in June after his eight-year tenure as UH Athletics Director (2016–23), hired 16 head coaches—the most by any AD in school history—and oversaw approximately $80 million in facility upgrades, which impacted nearly all of UH‘s 21 sports programs. Under his leadership, grade point averages and graduation rates of student-athletes hit all-time highs; UH teams won two national championships, 14 conference titles and 19 conference tournament championships; and the football team was invited to five bowl games.
Perry played two seasons at UH before transferring to Long Beach State. She was a member of the United States national team and competed at the 1966 World Championships, 1967 Pan American Games and the 1968 Summer Olympics. After coaching volleyball at Southern California and Redondo High School, she moved back to Hawaiʻi and taught at Castle High School before a 20-year career in the Punahou School’s Athletic Department and later at her alma mater, Kamehameha Schools.
Spieler, the most distinguished beach volleyball player in program history, helped lead the Rainbow Wahine to a pair of national championship appearances, including a fourth-place finish at the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships in 2016. The four-year letterwinner (2013–16) was the recipient of the Jack Bonham Award and was a semifinalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award in 2016.
To read the inductees’ full biographies, visit hawaiiathletics.com.