Hawaii will change name from ‘Warriors’ back to ‘Rainbow Warriors’ of old [Photos]

Hawaii Warriors linebackers Kamalani Alo (47) and T.J. Taimatuia (3) lead the Hawaii football team in a "haka" before the start of the first quarter of the NCAA college football game against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Aloha Stadium. (Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports)

Could Hawaii linebackers Kamalani Alo (47) and T.J. Taimatuia (3) be leading the team in the “Haka” in more brightly colored Rainbow Warriors uniforms this fall? (Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports)

In a move that seems to have widespread support throughout the Hawaii athletic department, all men’s teams will be going by the name “Rainbow Warriors” beginning July 1.

In 2000, then-football coach June Jones moved to remove the “Rainbows” from the school’s nickname. However, according to CBS Sports, the decision was met with friction, and not every team felt obliged to make the change. Thus, in a fairly surprising move (to say the least) the athletic department allowed all of its men’s teams to actually choose their own nicknames.

The football team became the Warriors, others remained the Rainbow Warriors and the baseball team had actually just been the Rainbows until now.

All of the women’s teams, as stated above, will remain the Rainbow Wahines.

Athletic director Ben Jay explained the motivation behind reverting to the old name.

“We initially decided to adopt Warriors as the nickname of our men’s teams, since it was used by the majority of our men’s programs, including the one with the largest fan following (football),” Jay explained, per the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “This is a very subjective and emotional issue and the only clear consensus on this topic over the last 13 years has been that a decision needed to be made to unify our men’s teams under one nickname. That goal will still be accomplished as we retain the Rainbow and Warriors names, both of which are near and dear to the hearts of our fans, whom we represent. …”

“I’ve been asking since I was hired here [in December] who we are and what is most representative of the islands,” Jay said. “Those three words, Warriors, Rainbow and Wahine, are representative of who we are.”

The photo above is how the team looks these days, as the men perform a haka dance prior to a game. However, below are some baller Rainbow Warriors jerseys from 1959. Under Armour currently holds the licensing rights for the school, and we’re confident that if they try, they could design an amazing, refreshed look of these old-school wonders.

[Watch: Oregon athletics explains uniform innovation in spoof of AT&T commercial]

Photo courtesy @DeMello_Rob

Photo courtesy @DeMello_Rob

Below is a logo from the mid-’90s that would be pretty slick on some merchandising apparel as the program looks to re-brand itself, in this humble blogger’s opinion.

What do you think about the new/old name? Sound off in the comments section below!

Photo courtesy @DeMello_Rob

Photo courtesy @DeMello_Rob