Message from UH Hilo Athletic Director Patrick Guillen

As we enter the holidays, I’m grateful for the new friendships and relationships built with many long-standing, highly respected community members, alumni and faculty who have genuine passion for our students and Hilo community.

By Patrick Guillen

Patrick Guillen
Patrick Guillen

During this season of Thanksgiving, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the warm welcome into the Vulcan ‘ohana. In two short months since I stepped into this position, I have had the pleasure of meeting several proud UH Hilo alumni who are contributing to our community in their professional and personal lives in meaningful ways. Alumni have shared inspiring stories about the transformative experiences as a student here and of the impact their time at UH Hilo has had on their lives that would not have otherwise existed.

As we enter the holidays, I’m grateful for the new friendships and relationships built with many long-standing, highly respected community members, alumni and faculty who have genuine passion for our students and Hilo community. I have personally experienced a humble, caring and generous community whose thoughtful leadership continues to inspire me in my work each and every day. Thank you for taking the time to share your stories with me in my first two months on the job.

I have also had the opportunity to work alongside Chancellor Straney who is deeply committed to this great institution, the community and most importantly our students and the bright future they represent. I am proud to work with a solid group of coaches that are intensely competitive by nature but truly understand the importance of our student-athletes being students first. I’m confident that the leadership and commitment of everyone is helping to pave the way for a bright 2016 for the Vulcan ‘ohana. You are a big part of that, so thank you for continuing to support us.

Last week, I had the opportunity to present our annual Vulcan Athletics academic report to the UH Board of Regents. I am proud to say that our Vulcans student-athletes shine in the classroom, having compiled a cumulative GPA of 2.95 in the Spring 2015 semester. Six of our 12 sport programs compiled a team GPA above 3.0 led by our Women’s Cross Country program (3.26). We also boast an impressive 75% retention rate, which is significantly higher than the general student population. These numbers are quite impressive considering the amount of practice and air travel our teams have to do in order to compete at their respective venues of competition intra-island and to the mainland. Thank you for supporting our student athletes, without your generosity and encouragement these numbers would not be possible.

I have been blessed to work with wonderful student-athletes who show great promise as our future leaders. It is very fulfilling in collegiate athletics to watch leadership traits being nurtured and character and integrity being cultivated through positive mentorship and sport. We will continue our outreach and look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can be more integrated throughout the Hawai’i Island community, strengthen our partnerships and build lifelong Vulcan friendships. I value your feedback and, if we haven’t already met, I look forward to connecting with you soon. Please feel free to send me an email and share your Vulcan alumni story.

Vulcans are our link to the past and our key to the future. Your generosity in time, talent, and treasure is what fuels this program—mahalo nui loa. We are amazed by the consistent success and leadership of our graduates, and we’re also amazed by how much our alumni give back. Vulcan Alumni pride—it’s knowing where you came from, and where you’re going. Mahalo nui loa for taking us to the top.

I am thoroughly humbled and grateful for this opportunity to lead a program with a rich athletic tradition that has brought so much joy to this community. I consider it both an honor and a privilege to be the Athletics Director of the UH Hilo Vulcans. I am committed to working with our coaches, staff, students, Hawaiʻi Island community and our alumni to once again bring the Vulcan Athletics program back to national prominence.

Please join me in cheering on our UH Hilo Vulcans Men’s Basketball team as they take on UH Manoa in a pre-season game at the Stan Sheriff Center on December 8, 2015. I hope that you will come out and support your Vulcans by attending a game, volunteering for game management or by joining the Vulcans Booster Club. I invite you to keep in touch with us and let us know how you are doing, what’s new in your life and how we can continue to be a relevant and meaningful part of your lives.

Go Vulcans!

Mahalo nui loa,

Patrick Guillen
Director of Athletics
UH Hilo Vulcans