After a comprehensive national search, University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner has recommended Craig Angelos to be the next UH Mānoa athletics director. The UH Board of Regents (BOR) will be requested to approve Lassnerʻs selection and proposed salary at the Thursday, May 18 BOR meeting at Honolulu Community College. If approved, Angelos would start Monday, June 5, succeeding David Matlin.
Angelos has more than 29 years of senior leadership experience in intercollegiate athletics at seven universities and is currently the senior deputy director of athletics at Long Island University (LIU). He previously served as the athletic director at Florida Atlantic University for nearly nine years from 2003 to 2012 and as the number two person in the athletics department at five universities including the University of Miami, Indiana University, University of South Florida, Temple University and LIU. He also worked at the NCAA as a Legislative Assistant interpreting all the NCAA rules and regulations and has been an adjunct professor at three universities.
“I am deeply appreciative to the Search Advisory Committee, which screened scores of applications, conducted initial interviews, and recommended a stellar set of finalists to me,” said Lassner, who then conducted his own interviews. Substantial on-list and off-list reference checks were also conducted, after which Lassner concluded, as noted in his memo to the board, that “Mr. Angelos is the best qualified at this time to lead the athletics department and continue to build upon the department’s foundation to advance Hawaiʻi’s only NCAA Division I program during this extraordinary period of dynamic change and challenge.”
The UH Mānoa athletics director is responsible for the leadership and management of the program’s $40–$45 million annual operating budget supporting 21 major sports, approximately 125 full-time coaches and staff and more than 450 student-athletes. Angelos has extensive experience overseeing student athlete wellness and academic success, hiring head coaches, and supervising men’s and women’s sports programs that have won numerous conference and national championships.
In addition to student athlete health and wellness, Angelos has years of experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion, Title IX, NCAA compliance, and developing facilities including a 30,000 seat football stadium at FAU. He also has a proven track record in fundraising, securing corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and creating new revenue opportunities as well as having a deep understanding of the many consequential changes taking place in intercollegiate athletics today including NIL, collectives, transfer portal and conference realignment.
“If I receive the approval of the Board of Regents, my first order of business will be to meet with all of our stakeholders, starting with our student athletes, coaches, donors, alumni, staff and, of course, our fans,” said Angelos. “Though UH has unique opportunities and challenges being over 2500 miles from the nearest Division I program, UH Mānoa has a solid athletic program led by outstanding individuals that is in a prime position to continue to excel in today’s rapidly changing world of collegiate athletics. I’m so excited to get started. Finally, I want to thank President Lassner for recommending me. It’s truly an honor. If approved, I look forward to working with the entire community and making Hawaiʻi my home for a long time.”
Angelos has served on numerous university, conference and NCAA committees, including the Orange Bowl committee. He earned his bachelor of arts at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he was a starter on the baseball team that played against Hawaiʻi, and earned his law degree from Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska. Angelos has been married to his wife Kristin Angelos for over 30 years and has six children.
Process and salary
The eight-person search advisory committee extensively reviewed over 60 applications. They followed standard UH practices under which 8–10 of the most qualified applicants are selected for interviews based on credentials and experience and 3–5 names are forwarded to the supervisor of the position as an unranked list with strengths and weaknesses of each finalist. After meeting with the search advisory committee, Lassner interviewed each of the finalists and selected Angelos as his recommendation to the BOR. The recommendation memo to the board also includes a description of what is expected of the next athletics director:
- “The Director of Athletics must model integrity at the highest level; promote gender equity, inclusion and diversity as they encourage and support a multicultural environment grounded in Hawaiʻi, and carefully manage budget challenges by generating new revenues and containing costs. They must build and maintain effective and productive relationships with other academic institutions, athletic conferences, national intercollegiate athletics organizations, and the diverse athletic stakeholders within Hawaiʻi and beyond. Even before the monumental shifts in intercollegiate athletics nationally, this position has been characterized as one of the most visible and challenging positions in the state.”
Lassner has recommended a salary of $325,212, the same amount as current athletics director David Matlin. The recommended appointment also includes a $15,000 relocation/moving allowance. Like all executive positions at UH, the athletics director is an at-will position meaning either the employee or the university may end the employment at any time. Future salary adjustments and conditions of employment will be in accordance with all relevant BOR and university policies and procedures.