(Here’s the full length of today’s story on David Hallums, the new football coach at Pearl City.)
In the public eye, David Hallums wore green on the basketball court.
At heart, he bleeds purple, which is one reason why Pearl City hired the former University of Hawaii hoopster as its new football head coach yesterday.
“There’s a lot of school pride and I’m definitely excited. But I’m humbled, very humbled,” Hallums said yesterday afternoon. “I talked with my brother, Kalani, and it almost overwhelmed me how much people care about Pearl City.”
Hallums, 45, will replace Kai Kamaka, who was 18-12 in three seasons as the Chargers’ coach. Kamaka was released by the school following a year of ups and downs: a run to the Division II state tournament marred by player suspensions due to on-field conduct.
“I know there’s a lot of controversy with what happened with Kai. I can guarantee you all the drama’s going to be done,” said Hallums, a law enforcement officer with HPD.
He is still a presence in the media. For years, he has done color commentary on radio, and was recently hired as a color commentator by OC16 for UH men’s basketball.
He will meet with returning players once school is back in session.
“We hope to match what Kai did. I loved what they did on both sides of the ball. Once everything settles, the guys won’t see drastic changes,” he said.
Hallums intends to retain two assistants: offensive line coach Shaun Na‘auao and junior varsity coach Guy Paredes. The latter is a former teammate of Hallums at Pearl City. Hallums has stayed in contact with Kamaka since his release. Kamaka had expressed an interest in staying on staff.
“He brings a lot. He’s a great coach,” Hallums said. “I’ve had many conversations with Kai. But for now, there’s a mutual understanding. … We’re planning to start from square one. I wish him the best.”
Hallums played football, basketball and ran track and field before graduating from Pearl City in 1984. He went on to play basketball at BYU-Hawaii before transferring to UH-Manoa for a memorable senior season. Since then, he has been busy coaching almost nonstop since ’93. He was Leilehua’s basketball coach in ’93-94 before he began coaching on the gridiron at Kamehameha in ’96. After two seasons there, he was the offensive coordinator at McKinley from ’98 to ’04 under David Tanuvasa, where the Tigers mastered a spread offense.
It’s similar to the spread attack Kamaka installed at Pearl City; Hallums and Kamaka played semi-pro football together for the Halawa Hurricanes during that time.
After McKinley, Hallums was an assistant at Pearl City under Mel Bicoy, then assisted at Radford in ’09 and ’10. He took a break last season and watched his share of football, particularly Pearl City games.
Alumnus Brian Derby, who wrote a letter of recommendation on Hallums’ behalf, has invited Charger offensive linemen to his invite-only clinic, Hallums said.
Even in early January, he can envision more success for the Chargers.
“There’s always been so much talent from Pearl City,” Hallums said, noting the exodus to powerhouse programs in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu over the decades. “We have great skill players. We’ll run multiple sets and go big if we have to.”
First, though, he wants the program to be in line with his philosophy.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a 5.3 (in the 40-yard dash) or 4.3, you’re going to be treated the same,” Hallums said. “The kids will feel loved and we’ll always explain why we’re disciplining them.”
Despite the winning record of the past two years, Pearl City will remain in Division II, Hallums said.
“We want to compete with the big boys (in D-I) eventually, but we’re going to need depth and keep people healthy,” he said.
As for the rash of on-field penalties of last year, Hallums plans to be firm.
“That’s a reflection of me and my staff,” he said.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser