UH Football Director of Recruiting Savannah Reier Joins ‘Wake Up in The Den, Shares Journey from Court to Gridiron 

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED JULY 22, 2023

HONOLULU — This year has been a consistent callback to recurring themes for Savannah Reier, the new(-ish) University of Hawai’i football director of recruiting.

She has always had this passion for being around sports. It stems from a childhood that saw her run from one activity to the next. Though the hardwood was her true love, that did not stop the Alabama native from participating in a whole slew of sports leading up to (and in) high school.

Softball, lacrosse, and soccer were some of the experiences the talented hooper collected growing up. Thanks to a trip to the football field and her dad taking a video, a highly successful pair of stints as a high school football kicker in which she tallied over 100 points on varsity ended up being on the bingo card, too.

Success has also followed her for a long time. 

Following high school, the guard enjoyed an uber-successful two-year stint at Shelton State Community College, where she went 70-4 in two seasons with a pair of Final Four finishes on her resumé. Wherever she would finish her eligibility, the program would get a winner. 

The lucky program was the Rainbow Wahine, who enjoyed a berth in the WNIT in Reier’s first season before her second season and playing career ended with a first-round Big West tournament win and a global pandemic to follow.

Following her playing career, Reier left for a graduate assistant spot with Nevada before returning to head coach Laura Beeman’s program at the start of the 2022-23 basketball season as the director of player development. In the meantime, she casually received her master’s degree while at Nevada.

The offer to join the staff was just one of many ways that Beeman impacted the life of Reier, both on and off the court. 

“I definitely needed her more than I knew and I’m so thankful to have played for her,” the former Rainbow Wahine guard said of her former head coach. “To come back on her staff, it was really full circle because my senior year was COVID in 2020 and we were playing in the semifinals at the Big West tournament and our season was cut short.” 

“It felt unfinished for me, my time here in Hawai’i,” Reier continued. “So, when I came back… to end up winning a Big West championship with that [2022-23 team], it gave me the closure I needed to move on from basketball.”  

A transition to a role with the football team was being worked on through back channels though, as football head coach Timmy Chang excitedly awaited her arrival to his staff. 

Being surrounded by an entire football team and staff and being the lone woman on staff can be a daunting experience. For Reier, it was more of a callback to her high school days, meaning the adjustment has been far smoother than one may assume. 

“The environment was actually very similar to my personality,” Reier said of the change to football. “I had always grown up as a young female being told ‘you’re too competitive, you need to take it back a notch’, so when I got in an environment where [my competitiveness] was praised? I fell right into it, and they became like my brothers.” 

A woman’s touch (and attention to detail) has already paid dividends on the Rainbow Warriors’ recruiting trail. From helping plan how official visits will go to being one of the main voices talking to recruits, Reier’s fingerprints are all over one of the higher-rated recruiting classes in recent memory for the University of Hawai’i. 

Hawai’i’s 2024 recruiting class is headlined by MaxPreps 2022 National Junior of the Year and 3-star quarterback Micah Alejado from Bishop Gorman (Nev.), who has already gotten current Gorman teammate and 3-star ATH De Von Rice to join him in committing to the ‘Bows.

The local boy movement is also in full effect, as some of the top talent in the islands decided to keep their talents home as well. The trenches will be reinforced with Punahou 3-star OL Tu’i Muti and a pair of 3-star pass-rushers in Saint Louis School’s Noah Wily and Campbell’s Nazareth Carvallo.

Overall, the group is ranked in the top three for the 2024 class of recruits among Mountain West squads (via 247 Sports). It would be the highest-rated recruiting class by 247 Sports for the ‘Bows since joining the conference in 2012. 

Reier spoke in further detail about her journey from JUCO to Hawai’i, her love for Beeman, how she originally connected to this UH football staff and more. 

Though she’s just begun her post with the Rainbow Warriors football program, it feels like Reier is a 10-year vet with the early success. She is a natural, someone who wants to be the best, which is why she fits perfectly with Chang’s staff.

Just like Ludacris said, Hawai’i football is coming for that number one spot with Reier leading the recruiting charge. 

You can catch ‘Wake Up in The Den with Ku’ulei Agbayani’ live every weekday morning from 8-9 a.m. HT on 95.1 FM, AM 760 and streaming on hawaiisportsradio.com. The show is available after recording where most podcasts are, along with past OIA and HPU broadcasts and older interviews.

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