Downing thrilled to be coaching at Kaiser

Kainoa Downing is thrilled to be back coaching volleyball at the high school level.

Downing, who led Kamehameha to the boys Division I state championship in 2011, is off to a 1-3 start at Kaiser heading into tonight’s match at Moanalua.

The Cougars are in Division II this season.

“We have really, really good kids this year,” he said over the phone recently. “We’re trying to change the culture of girls volleyball here into a winning culture. We want to change the conversation … put it in their heads .. on learning how to win. It’s not an easy thing to do.”

Downing played at Kamehameha and played in college at UCLA and San Diego State. He spent five years as the Warriors’ head coach. Before that, he was an assistant for the Punahou girls team for five years.

He’s thrilled to be back as a head coach.

“It’s another opportunity for me to share my experience and knowledge that I was given back to the players,” Downing said. “It’s a privilege to share, and hopefully make a difference in their lives.”

Other coaching changes:

>> Dwayne Mendoza is the new Campbell girls volleyball coach. The Sabers are 3-0 so far in the Oahu Interscholastic Association West Division I. He replaces Ala Iosefa.

>> Chad Giesseman has decided to remain on as the McKinley boys volleyball coach. He intended to step down after last season. Giesseman, however, is no longer a co-head coach with Carrie-Ann Akana for the McKinley girls team. Akana has the girls team off to a 1-3 start this fall.

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