Hawaii's Nick Rolovich wants 'Golden Screwdriver' trophy added to Fresno State series

Dr. Saturday
Fresno State beat Hawaii 42-14 in 2015. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)
Fresno State beat Hawaii 42-14 in 2015. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Hawaii has played Fresno State more than any other team, so Rainbow Warriors coach Nick Rolovich thinks the series should have a trophy.

Turns out, the idea for a trophy for the series isn’t new. There already is one. It came up years ago from a Fresno radio station, which had a contest asking listeners to come up with a trophy idea for the rivalry. The winner of the contest was this beauty: the Golden Screwdriver Trophy.


Fresno never got on board with the trophy, but Rolovich, in his first season as Hawaii’s head coach, is into it.

“We’ve got to get that going,” Rolovich said per the Honolulu Star Advertiser. “Heck, if we win I’d put that in the trophy case.”

So why a golden screwdriver, you ask? It stems back from an alleged incident following the FSU-UH game in 2002.

From the Star Advertiser:

The trophy was the result of a contest held several years ago by ESPN radio 940 in Fresno in which the station asked listeners to design something to symbolize the rivalry between the two schools.

It is in recognition of an alleged incident from the teams’ 2002 game in Fresno. In the aftermath of UH’s 31-21 victory, Hawaii’s first in Bulldog Stadium, head coach June Jones claimed several objects were thrown at the UH sideline, including a screwdriver where he was standing.

Fresno State issued an apology at the time saying, “we believe that a screwdriver was thrown by one of our fans at the University of Hawaii team bench.” The incident has been an object of controversy ever since, the story taking on a life of its own with many debating whether it actually happened.

Because the trophy represented an alleged misdeed from one of its fans, Fresno State understandably wasn’t receptive to the idea. Rolovich is hoping the school will be more receptive these days. It’s all in good fun and he thinks the legend could take another funny chapter.

“It would be fun. That legend will grow, and pretty soon, it’ll be a mechanic jumped out from behind the goal post and was throwing screwdrivers at June like a ninja,” he said.

According to the Fresno Bee, the trophy, which is a beautifully made wooden block with a slab of artificial grass with a gold-painted screwdriver stabbed into it, sits on the desk of one of the radio station’s hosts.

The programs first played way back in 1938 and continued to play during their stints in the WAC. Now that both schools are in the Mountain West, the rivalry carries on. Fresno holds a 26-21-1 edge in the series and has won five in a row. This time around, Hawaii (4-7) is a road favorite against the 1-9 Bulldogs.

If it were up to us, that trophy is getting on the plane with the Rainbow Warriors if they win Saturday night’s game.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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