1970 - 73 Rainbows
(Authentic Reproduction)




Knowing that the Rainbows would need at least the typical quota of one hundred football scholarships to compete against a major college schedule, funds were allocated to increase 1970’s allotment from thirty-three to fifty-five. Coach Holmes introduced a new uniform design with sharp looking green jerseys trimmed with white numerals worn at home and white jerseys with green numerals worn for away games. Old gold pants and a bright gold helmet made for a crisp appearance and the team responded with solid play. An automobile accident at the start of fall camp left Coach Holmes with a fractured left hip but he would have reason to smile as the Rainbows posted a 9-2 record and a number-ten ranking in the College Division polls. With Oklahoma transfer Larry Sherrer at tailback running behind Jim Kalili, the offense put up double-digits in every game. Sherrer missed two games with a broken hand yet became the school’s first 1000-yard rusher with 1045 total yards and scored eleven TD's. FB Bill Massey added another 740 yards. San Jose City JC transfer Middle LB Randy Ingraham received Little All American honorable mention while in on 145 tackles and young Levi Stanley was solid at DT. The schedule was upgraded entering 1971 to include national power and number-one ranked Nebraska and the Rainbows were stretched to finish at 7-4. They lost Stanley to a broken arm but 6'6" John Gordon stepped up his play at DT enough to roster with the Lions the next season. DE Jim Stone set a Hawaii record with fifteen sacks and was named a Third Team College Division All American. DB Jeris White was an instant improvement in the secondary with eighty tackles and six INT's. TB Sherrer again was the offensive sparkplug, rushing for 1129 yards, still third on the all-time Hawaii list. He later graduated from the UH John A. Burnes School Of Medicine.


With a fully inflated schedule that now included Tennessee, Stanford, and Grambling, the only opponents the team lost to in an 8-3 1972 season, Holmes had to step up his recruiting efforts. Other than giving up big points against their heavy-duty opponents, the defense was stable with Honorable Mention All American DT Levi Stanley contributing 113 tackles and DB Jeris White doing the major work. Playing opposite White, CB Hal Stringert was 185-pounds of contact dynamite. Albert Holmes set a new school rushing record of 1146 yards and BYU transfer John Golden Richards was an effective receiver who had a decent career on some good Cowboy teams from '73 to 1978 before finishing out with the Bears. Fans had, under Holmes reign, enjoyed an exciting and winning brand of football, but for those who wondered about the use of gold helmets and pants on a team that had official colors of green and white, they may have been further confused by the 1972 and '73 announcement that "University Of Hawaii's newest moniker, The Green Machine, has become pretty much a household word". The "Green Machine" campaign also introduced the mascot figure of what later would fully develop into the Hawaii "Rainbow Warrior." 


With DT Levi Stanley making sixteen tackles, Coach Holmes looked like a miracle worker as the Rainbows opened the ’73 season with a 10-7 upset win over fifty-point favorite Washington, one that ranked with the 1955 victory over powerful Nebraska. They beat Utah 7-6 in the finale, and lost but two games in-between to complete a successful 9-2 year which brought them a ranking as high as fifth in the Division II polls. TB Albert Holmes fell off a bit from his '72 record rushing performance but picked up 811 yards and paced the offense with USC transfer, HB Regis Grice who added 583 yards to the rushing total. Leading the O-line that provided the big holes was tackle Charlie Aiu. The dynamic duo of DT Levi Stanley, a genuine folk hero who recorded 366 career tackles, a record that stood at UH for more than thirty years, and who later played two good seasons in the WFL and DB Jeris White kept order on defense. White went on to an NFL career that lasted nine seasons with the Dolphins, Bucs, and Redskins. CB Stringert again was reliable on coverage, enjoyed a three interception day vs. Washington in the opening game, and played with the Chargers for six seasons. Unfortunately, Holmes had a philosophical disagreement with an alumni group and some who noted the turmoil among team members due to ongoing friction within the squad between the mainland players and Hawaiian and Island-raised players. He resigned to return to high school coaching in Spokane, WA. and his .727 winning percentage at Hawaii remains the best in school history. Holmes finished his coaching career in Spokane, earning the distinction of being elected to the Eastern Washington, Athletic Hall Of Fame as well as four others in the Pacific Northwest.

If interested in any of these Hawaii helmets please click on the photos below.