By Dave Reardon
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.