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Hawaiʻi Football Now: Episode 25

By: Jarin Kobashigawa

This week on HFN Ep 25, Jordan Helle and Hunter Hughes talk about head coach Timmy Chang’s commitment to recruiting locally. Helle and Hughes discuss how keeping good local talent home affects the team chemistry and brings excitement to the program for fans and supporters alike. The episode concludes with a discussion on ways in which a winning culture and a unique gameday experience can be created at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex for this new UH Football Program under Coach Chang.

Local Recruiting

While recruiting is huge for creating a winning culture and environment, it is also very tedious and challenging for the coaching staff who has to do homework on every player they’re considering inviting to UH. Chang has made it clear that they are going to do everything they can to keep the special local talent at home. Just this past week, UH made 10+ offers to a range of local football players, some who have standing D1 offers, others who don’t have any FBS offers at all.

Hughes said the game of football requires unity and so, sometimes when a program is recruiting they simply have to look for guys that will positively contribute to the team’s overall chemistry. The #braddahhood, something simple, yet powerful is so important because it’s established a sense of family and pride among the players, alumni, and fans. A team becomes that much more powerful and special when the players have something more to play for. Chang is building a program that fosters this feeling.

The Draw To Hawaii

As Hughes put it, “I think a name, image, and likeness deal in Hawaii is more substantial than a good deal in Alabama, in Mississippi, in Texas.” Relative to cities like Los Angeles where there are a lot of athletes and celebrities, in Hawaii athletes have a real opportunity to get recognized locally and still get a sense of popularity and fame.

An important factor that recruits have to consider when looking at the University of Hawaii is now the venue they’d be playing at. The Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex is the temporary home for the Rainbow Warriors while the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District — or NASED project gets underway. So then, building out the Complex and creating a positive and unique gameday experience is very important for attracting the fans. For example, being able to tailgate before the game, having a plan for parking, and even increasing the stadium capacity.

On April 16th, the UH Football Team is inviting fans to the T.C. Ching Athletic Complex to watch the team scrimmage. Coach Chang said in an interview on The Brotherhood Show; Pride, Excellence & Tradition that they’re looking at making this game as real as possible with intentions of bringing in vendors, making a beer garden, and even having a keiki play area.

Mahalo to Spectrum, Zanthosyn, and Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union for sponsoring HFN!