Darnell Arceneaux: Crossroads for a wanted coach

It was back on Monday that word got out about Darnell Arceneaux.

It was his alma mater, Saint Louis, that wanted him to be their football coach. Badly. Here’s what I wrote at the time. It didn’t run in Tuesday’s newspaper, though. That Monday night, Coach had deep reservations about allowing the news to be published — he didn’t want to hurt anyone on either side (Mililani and Saint Louis). He had his family to think of, how he and his wife would support them in a time of pay cuts in the DOE. He was torn about the possibility of leaving a place that he loves.

So, late into the night, we pulled the story out of respect for all parties, but especially Coach Arceneaux. Here’s how it read then, and it’s still an interesting read five days later.

>> The Crusaders are calling Darnell Arceneaux again.

This time, he’s willing to listen. The former Saint Louis quarterback and coach confirmed on Monday afternoon that the school contacted him today regarding the vacant head football coaching position.

Arceneaux has been coach at Mililani since 2007. He also teaches at the school and has enjoyed the support of the administration.

“This is just talk and it’s part of the business,” he said during son Cole’s youth basketball practice. “It’s not that I’m leaving.”

However, with recent pay cuts and a growing family — his third child is now 5 months old — Arceneaux said he owed it to them to at least listen to Saint Louis.

“I need to talk with my AD (Glenn Nitta). I talked with my principal today. There’s too many kids and families involved to make a rash decision,” said Arceneaux, who guided Saint Louis to the state final in his lone season at Kalaepohaku in 2003.

Saint Louis lost to Kahuku 27-26, and Arceneaux left after the season when the school could not find him a position on staff. He is in the process of certification now, however.

“My heart and loyalty is to Mililani. It’s a tough situation. I love my kids, I really do love them, the camaraderie and cohesiveness,” the former Utah quarterback said. “If I make a career change, how does it benefit my family?”

Saint Louis, he said, is “putting a package together. With the way the economy is going, I have to look at it,” Arceneaux said. “We’ll put everything on the table and be very honest.”

Saint Louis has been through a gauntlet of challenges in recent months, hiring a new athletic director and opening the football coach position. Former quarterback and current ‘Iolani offensive coordinator Joel Lane turned down an offer. So did former head coach Delbert Tengan.

The school made an offer to Sam Papalii on Friday morning, but rescinded it by that afternoon.

Saint Louis first contacted Arceneaux about the position “a few weeks ago,” he said.

“I said, ‘Thank you, but my interest is in Mililani,’ ” he said.

Last season, Mililani reached the Oahu Interscholastic Association quarterfinals, losing at Kahuku in a thriller, 35-27. Quarterback Trent McKinney (415 total yards against Kahuku) and wide receiver Hassan Richardson are among the key players who will return as seniors this fall.

Paul Honda, Star-Bulletin


  1. NonConformist June 7, 2010 5:38 pm

    With a fresh new StarAdvertiser comes a fresh new response. Kudos to Coach Areceneaux for handling this sensitive situation with class. He will have the support of Saint Louis School behind him and the continual familial relationship with Mililani. As it should be.

    At the end of the day, it's not about destroying anyone's hopes and dreams but allowing opportunities for everyone. Hawaii is very small town….so let's embrace decency and fairness without becoming negative and condescending. For we ALL know what happens to those who throw negativity into the wind…..”what comes around goes around”.

    Best of Luck to Coach Arceneaux and Saint Louis School.

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