Discovering Japan

February 27th, 2009

Greg McMackin and Jim Donovan leave today for Japan. It’s a four-day marketing trip for both the football coach and the athletic director. McMackin said he wants to try to find players in Japan, and that the level of competition has improved to the point where there are viable prospects. … It’s technically NOT a recruiting trip. Both will have speaking engagements, McMackin to coaches, Donovan to athletic administrators. … Donovan is hoping to make deals with at least two schools that want to come to Hawaii to learn more about football and would pay UH for the opportunity to do it at Manoa. … “There are a lot of avenues for us in Japan,” says McMackin, who, like his predecessor, June Jones, sees the entire Pacific as fertile ground for UH in terms of marketing and recruiting. … One of Jones’ dreams was a game in Japan.   McMackin says that’s a possibility, but not in the immediate future. … Donovan, who has long believed in the potential of expanding UH’s brand to Asia, stresses that no state funds are being used for this trip. It was organized by the Pacific Rim Sports Initiative, which is headed by former UH football player Ross Yamasaki.JAL, the Oahu Visitors Bureau, Marriott and Panda are sponsors, McMackin said. 

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  • kev-1 February 27, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Maybe Coach Mac should visit the sumo stables and recruit some o-linemen.

  • BigHilo February 28, 2009 at 1:50 am

    maybe Jim Donovan can get Japan teams to play a opener on 11/28 when we play Navy later that same day.

  • Michael in Kona February 28, 2009 at 8:56 am

    As a former ‘international student from Japan’ at UH, I can see one major problem in recruiting Japanese athletes to UH. It’s English. If one’s native tongue is Japanese (or non European language), one will find UH courses very challenging. Honestly, studying and practicing at the same time will make it extremely difficult. I was not an athlete. All I had to do was to study several hours a day to pass classes. Unless a Japanese student athlete is already proficient in English, it will be extremely difficult for Japanese speaking athletes to make it at UH, academically. Japan’s population is about 130 million. Maybe UH will find an athlete or two from that pool of talent, but it will be hard.

  • waipahugrad99 March 1, 2009 at 4:01 am

    Hey I watched on TV last year a Football Championship made up of teams from Europ Asia and a team from the US. Naturally the US team made the champion ship but they faced a strong Japan Team running a offense similar to Urban Myer’s Florida team. The Japanese team was winning till the last few minutes where I think Depth took over but they had some burnners out there. I think we could find some skill position guys….

  • bumbuchaMusubi March 1, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Great concept…great idea! To find and recruit a counterpart to Ichiro Suzuki with blinding speed that can catch the odd shaped ball is well worth it! Or to find a linebacker with, again a reference to pro baseball, to Godzilla Matsui in New York is a real diamond! AlohaandOouttt…

  • wsuzawa March 2, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    All we need is one and pay per view revenues, tourist to come watch the game, etc could easily cover this trip. Plus we may end up with vball, baseball, soccer, basketball recruits as well! I applaud Coach and AD for out of box thinking

  • PIAA DS March 4, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Im stealing a little space from you Dave..hope you dont mind, but the UH coaches I spoke with were pretty excited about this camp coming in, said we have the talent but not the technique, so this may help get some local boys kicking at UH:

    PIAA will be hosting a camp with KICK NATION, one of the premier kicking, punting and long snapping organizations in the country May 23-24 at Waialua H.S. on Oahu, grades 5 – 12. Cost $200 for two full days, 8:30-4:30 of evaluation, instruction and competition. This is one of the top specialty camps available to Kickers, Punters and Long Snappers. Please call 261-5000 or go to for more information and registration.

  • longrice March 6, 2009 at 8:15 am

    recruiting Japanese FB players is not a big problem; having BB players at UH i.e. eastern block countries. its a matter of proper planning and mental change of UH fans…

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