If there was ever a coach who brought blue-collar work ethic to his team every day, Byron Mello was one of them.
Mello stepped down as boys basketball coach at Moanalua on Wednesday, on the eve of Thanksgiving. The news came as a shock to the prep basketball community as preseason is well underway. Na Menehune finished No. 5 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10 last season with a 21-8 overall record.
The longtime head and assistant coach conferred with administrators about his decision.
“We felt it was in the best (interest) of all (for me) to step aside,” Mello said on Wednesday night.
With two young standout players in Geremy Robinson and DeAeris McRaven, Moanalua won the OIA Division I title with a 56-49 overtime win over Kailua. Moanalua fell in the state quarterfinals against ILH powerhouse ‘Iolani, 52-47, in overtime.
Moanalua promoted Mello in 2013 after Greg Tacon left to become head coach at Kamehameha. Mello’s Na Menehune have thrived in an uptempo style. Last season, Robinson was voted by coaches and media to the Star-Advertiser All-State Fab 15 as a sophomore.
Moanalua issued an announcement to media regarding the position opening. Resumes will be accepted through Dec. 11 and should be emailed to athletic director Joel Kawachi at Joel.Kawachi@k12.hi.us.