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University of Hawaii officials announce hiring of David Matlin as athletic director

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HONOLULU — David Matlin has been named athletic director of the University of Hawaii, more than two decades after he was first hired as a university marketing assistant for $6 an hour.

University officials on Wednesday announced the assignment of the 50-year-old Matlin to his new role, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper (http://is.gd/5m6MLV) reported.

At a news conference, Matlin called the job "a dream opportunity."

Matlin's appointment comes about three months after University of Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay resigned following a two-year tenure marked by failed efforts to stop the university's athletic department from losing money. The university athletic department is facing a $3 million deficit, even though the Manoa chancellor's office last year absorbed $13 million in debt that the department had accumulated so it could become solvent in 2014.

In his first stint with the university, Matlin was hired in 1993, rising to assistant ticket manager before leaving in 1999 for other ventures. Those included working for the Detroit Tigers and the Houston Astros, where he became the youngest sales director in major league baseball at age 26.

As the university's athletic director, Matlin is expected to earn more than $230,000 a year. His contract will go before the Board of Regents for final approval.

Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman said it's common for university executive positions to include five-year terms. He declined to say, however, what terms Matlin will get.

In his role with the 21-sport department, Matlin acknowledged he faces severe financial challenges. The office has operated in the red for much of the past decade.

Matlin said stewardship will be his focus. "We have resources. We have to steward them well," he said.

Matlin, who was offered the job on Tuesday, was recommended to Bley-Vroman last week by an eight-member search advisory committee. Bley-Vroman said he spoke with Matlin for about six hours.

"We share the same vision and belief in value and potential of the (UH) athletic program and all that athletics can add to the university and the entire state of Hawaii," Bley-Vroman said.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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