Hula Bowl Coaching History

Creating lasting bonds with players and staff

Players are no doubt what make the Hula Bowl special. However through history it’s a known fact that many of the greatest college football coaches in history have also taken part in the historic post season game here in the islands.

From the late Joe Paterno to most recently former NFL greats Rex Ryan and Mike Smith. In the games reboot in 2019, both former NFL head coaches got to experience the pageantry that surrounds the Hula Bowl.

Rex Ryan has a known infatuation with both Polynesian culture and its players. The former New York Jets head coach went so far as to ink a tribal tattoo sleeve on his leg. He also has often traveled to Hawaii on vacation and rumor has it even spent time canvassing local areas to possibly live.

While his antics have often thrust him into media spotlight don’t be consumed by all that you read, the guy knows football. His father Buddy Ryan was a legendary defensive coordinator with NFL legend Mike Ditka and his brother Rob Ryan is one of the perennial defensive coaches in the National Football league.

Mike Smith came to Oahu last season to coach in the Hula Bowl reboot and did so as the Atlanta Falcons most winningest coach in franchise history. In an interview with Hawaii News Now Smith recalled his experience coming to Hawaii to be a part of the game. “Every great coach wants to Hawaii and be apart of the Hula Bowl,” said Smith.

The game also serves an opportunity for local high school coaches such as Vinny Passas, Issac Sopoaga, Matt Funga, along with many others a chance to dissect the game of football with some of the best minds to ever do it.

The networking the Hula Bowl provides, truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both the players and coaches. Through the week coaches are able to make bonds that will last a lifetime.