Thomas Kaauwai Kaulukukui
Grantland Rice, legendary sportswriter dubbed Kaulukukui with the nickname of “Grass Shack”, a strong name since Kaulukukui was only a 5-foot-5, 140-pound, running back. His number, #32 remains the only number to have ever been retired by the Hawai’i football program. A 103-yard kickoff return against UCLA in 1935 is still a school record.
Tommy Kaulukukui was born in Kalihi in 1913. His family moved to the Big Island, and he graduated from Hilo High School in 1932. When he returned to Oahu to go to UH, he became the first in his family of 14 children to attend college.
In the 1960s, Kaulukukui was head football coach at Iolani. He was also the driving force in bringing Pop Warner youth football to Hawai’i. He was inducted to the University of Hawai’i Sports Circle of Honor in 1982, the first year the hall of fame honor was established.