USC vs. Hawaii: A Primer to the Rainbow Warriors


Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

The Trojans head to Hawaii for a Thursday night season-opening affair with the Rainbow Warriors. But, before getting acquainted with Norm Chow’s football squad with upcoming analysis of their offense, defense and special teams, let’s first take a look at the Rainbows themselves. Here’s our first edition our game-week primers, loaded with tons of random facts about USC’s upcoming opponent.

Seven cool things you didn’t know about Hawaii:

  • The University of Hawaii was founded as a land-grant college, just like the famed land-grant universities of the Big Ten, like Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State. In the Pac-12, only Arizona, Cal, Oregon State and Washington State were founded as land-grants.
  • Hawaii is one of two major schools (Louisiana Tech is the other) that have different names for their men’s and women’s athletic teams. The men are the Rainbow Warriors, while the women are the Rainbow Wahine, which translates to “woman” in Hawaiian.
  • Speaking of names, the Rainbow Warriors got the name ‘Rainbows’ from newspaper reporters back in 1923 when a rainbow appeared during a big win over Oregon State. Warriors was added in 1974, along with some of the most uniquely awesome jerseys in college football. However, under June Jones in 2000, the football team opted to drop the word ‘Rainbow’ to go by the tougher, meaner, non-connotative “Warriors”. “Rainbow Warriors” is back though, as July 1st brought forth the official name change of all men’s teams at UH.
  • Hawaii has played at Aloha Stadium since 1976, which was originally built as a dual-purpose baseball/football stadium with stands that rotate for different layouts, as seen here and here. Since 2007, the stadium has been a football-only venue, making it no longer re-configurable.
  • The Rainbows’ first football stadium was Miliili Field from 1909 to 1925, but their must interesting might be Honolulu Stadium, which opened in 1926. Housing the Rainbows until 1974, Honolulu Stadium was famous for being made entirely out of wood and literally eaten away by termites. Yeaaaah.
  • Hawaii has played in bowl games and has hosted bowl games for decades at Aloha Stadium, but somewhat surprisingly, they’ve only been to a bowl game on the mainland twice.  In 1992, the Rainbow Warriors beat Illinois in the Holiday Bowl, and they were denied an undefeated season in 2007 with a loss to Georgia in the 2008 Sugar Bowl.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the Rainbow Warriors do not perform a traditional Haka dance prior to games. Instead, as pictured above, they perform a Ha’a, which is an entirely original adaptation that pays homage to Hawaiian war chants.

Factoids on Hawaii:

Full name: University of Hawaiʻi at MānoaLocation: Honolulu, Oahu, HIFounded: 1907Enrollment:  20,435Endowment:  $159 millionAcceptance Rate: 71%School colors: Green and whiteHome stadium: Aloha Stadium (c. 50,000)Uniform outfitter: Under ArmourYelp’s Top campus eatery: Govinda’sYelp’s Best campus food truck: The Blue Truck TeppanyakiYelp’s Best local burger: Pint & Jigger (gastropub, 16 minute walk from campus)

Most famous UH alum:

Bob Ballard, the discoverer of the Titanic.

Most famous UH dropout:

Bette Midler, the actress/singer

Trojan who is from Hawaii:

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Hawaii’s Fight Song: “Co-Ed Fight Song”

Here’s to our dear Hawai’i.Here’s to our Green and White.Here’s to our Alma Mater.Here’s to the team with fight.Rah! Rah! Rah!Here’s to old warriors calling.Here’s to old battles won.Here’s to Hawai’i’s victory.Here’s to each valiant one.

Hawaii Tweeps:

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We’ll get back to football on Monday, as we break down the Rainbow Warriors’ offense, followed the defense on Tuesday.