Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wahine
|Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
and Rainbow Wahine
|University||University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa|
|Conference||Big West Conference (most sports)
Mountain West Conference (football)
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
|Athletic director||Dave Matlin|
|Football stadium||Aloha Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Stan Sheriff Center|
|Baseball stadium||Les Murakami Stadium|
|Softball stadium||Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Waipi‘o Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|Natatorium||Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex|
|Other arenas||Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex (track & field, sand volleyball)|
|Mascot||Vili The Warrior|
The University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wahine are the seven men's, 12 women's, and two coed sports teams of the University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UH), located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The UH athletics program is a member of the Big West Conference in most sports and competes at the NCAA Division I level.
History and tradition
Hawaii athletics began more than a century ago, with the first football team being fielded in 1909. Through 1923, the UH teams were called the "Deans." In the final game of the 1923 season, the football team upset Oregon State, with a rainbow appearing over the stadium during the game. Sportswriters began referring to UH teams as the "Rainbows," and the tradition was born that Hawaii could not lose if a rainbow appeared. The rainbow officially became a part of the school's athletic logo in 1982 and remained until 2000.
King Kamehameha the Great and his warriors united the Hawaiian Islands, earning the warrior a place of honor in Hawaiian history and an expectation of strength, skill and a fighting spirit.. The UH teams became known as “Rainbow Warriors” long before the name became official in 1974.
When woman's teams were begun in 1972, founder and first women's athletic director Dr, Donnis Thompson named the teams the “Rainbow Wāhine" with "wāhine" being Hawaiian for women.
Both the men's and the women's teams have long been known as the "Rainbows" or merely the " 'Bows."
A controversial change in 2000 allowed each team to pick its own team name; the football, men's volleyball, golf, and tennis teams became the Warriors, while the men's basketball and swimming & diving teams remained Rainbow Warriors, and the baseball team became the Rainbows. The women's teams, however, all remained the “Rainbow Wāhine." At the same time, the school changed its athletics logo to the current stylized "H", omitting the rainbow of the old logo altogether.
The Hawaii men's teams competed as independents until joining the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 1979. The women's teams were independents until joining the Pacific Coast Athletic Association in 1985, with that conference rebranding as the Big West Conference in 1988. In 1996, the women's teams joined the men in the WAC. In July 2012, most of the school's teams moved from the WAC to the women's former league, the Big West Conference. Since the Big West does not sponsor football, the Rainbow Warriors became affiliate members of the Mountain West Conference. Teams in other sports not sponsored by the Big West compete as members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
Men's Intercollegiate Sports
Women's Intercollegiate Sports
Coed Intercollegiate Sports
- The football team competes as an affiliate member of the Mountain West Conference.
- The men's and women's swimming & diving teams, the women's indoor track & field team, and the men's volleyball team compete as members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
- Beach volleyball is a fully sanctioned NCAA sport which will have its first national championship in the spring of 2016. The Big West will begin sponsoring beach volleyball in the 2016 season.
- Women's sailing and Coed sailing are sanctioned by the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference, not by the NCAA.
- Competitive cheerleading is sanctioned by several organizations, not by the NCAA.
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team competes in NCAA Division I FBS college football. The team, which is currently coached by Norm Chow, joined the Mountain West Conference in July 2012. Under former coach June Jones, they were the third non-BCS team to play in a BCS bowl game, having faced Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2008, losing to Georgia 41-10. Hawaii was ranked 10th and UGA ranked 5th in the nation. Hawaii was the only undefeated team of the 2007 season, before losing in the Sugar Bowl in January 2008.
The team's most recent appearance in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was in 2002. The Rainbow Warriors are coached by Eran Ganot. In 2015, the University self-imposed penalties as a result of NCAA violations committed by the previous coaching staff that include vacating 36 wins from the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons, reducing scholarships and practice time, and placing itself on one-year probation. UH also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine.
The Rainbow Warriors have made one appearance in the College World Series, finishing as the runner up to champion Arizona in the 1980 College World Series. The head coach is Mike Trapasso who, since taking over the program in 2001, has led Hawai'i to two NCAA tournaments and was the 2006 National Baseball Foundation Coach of the Year.
The creation of the first Rainbow Wahine teams at the University of Hawaii is the subject of the documentary film Rise of the Wahine, directed by Dean Kaneshiro.  Rise of the Wahine features the struggles of these first women's teams after the passing of Title IX and the film highlights the roles of coaches Alan Kang and Dave Shoji, first female Athletic Director Dr. Donnis Thompson, Patsy Mink, and first-teams volleyball players Beth McLachlin, Marilyn Moniz-Kaho`ohanonaho, Joyce Kapua`ala, and Joey Akeo.
- List of college sports teams in the United States with different nicknames for men's and women's teams
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- "Rise of the Wahine Documentary Film".
- University of Hawai'i at Mānoa website
- Hawai'i Athletics website
- Rise of the Wahine Documentary Film, directed by Dean Kaneshiro.