Former University of Hawaii athletics players and coaches shared their thoughts with KITV Wednesday following the athletics department's announcement that the new nickname for all men's sports will be "Warriors" and "Rainbow Wahine" for all women's sports.
"This decision was made for what's best moving forward," said Rich Miano, the only UH athlete to play as a "Rainbow" and coach as a "Warrior." "This is a tough decision, and Ben Jay is paid to make though decisions. And I think being from Ohio State, and a university with that type of branding, I think that he made the proper choice."
A choice that Miano said will attract more student athletes to Manoa.
Former Rainbow Wahine volleyball player Aneli Cubi-Otineru said, "I think it's a good idea. I mean, some teams were just Warriors and then some teams were Rainbow Warriors. S o it's kind of confusing. But it's good that just all the men's teams are all Warriors. I think it's a lot easier."
Former men's basketball coach Riley Wallace said he agrees with a single name, but is upset at the choice.
"In my heart, we will always be the Rainbow Warrior. I like that. The Warrior part was fine. The Rainbow was fine. So I thought that the connection of the Rainbow Warriors satisfied all of them," Wallace said. "It all started with June Jones. He just didn't like the Rainbow. They associated with the Rainbow Coalition and the rainbow standing for the gays, which have been totally accepted across the country now. And to me, all that was not real, a real reason to take it out."
One of Wallace's players, Alika Smith, said he feels the same way.
"You put your heart and soul into something and all of a sudden, they want to change it. But at the end of the day, you're still University of Hawaii. That's the main thing," Smith said.
"I still wish that we had the Rainbows, but I think it's going to be a good change and the players will carry on that confidence and that swagger about the Warrior," said former baseball player Breland Alamadova.