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As clock ticks on search for new football coach, top local prospect opts to head elsewhere

As the University of Hawaii’s search for a new head football coach continues, a high-profile local prospect announced he is not sticking around in Manoa.
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 3:16 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:27 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the University of Hawaii’s search for a new head football coach continues, a high-profile local prospect announced Wednesday he is not sticking around in Manoa.

St. Louis Crusaders quarterback A.J. Bianco, one of the top players in the state, announced on social media he is de-committing from the Rainbow Warriors and will instead play college football at the University of Nevada-Reno.

Although he wasn’t on the official UH roster, his departure is the latest in an offseason full of transfers from UH.

Former Rainbow Warrior Darryl McBride, who played for both head coaches Greg McMackin and Norm Chow, is keeping a close eye on the search for a new coach and says retaining local talent must be priority one for whoever leads the program next.

“When top tier players are leaving Hawaii to go play at schools like Notre Dame and Nebraska and they are thriving at those schools, those are the same type of talents that are there in Hawaii and we can’t keep that local talent home ... it hurts the program in the long run,” McBride said.

The university is moving quickly on the process as Wednesday was the deadline for applications.

June Jones, the winningest coach in team history, is one of the applicants for the position and support for his return continues to build in the community and among those close to the program

Jones expects a decision to be made by athletics director David Matlin sometime this week. The UH Board of Regents is scheduled to discuss issues with the football program at its meeting Thursday.

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