UPDATED: ‘Iolani hires Yonamine and Miyahira

Dean Yonamine is moving to the softball head coaching ranks, and Kurt Miyahira is moving on up.

Yonamine, the former highly successful baseball coach at ‘Iolani, is the new softball head coach, Raiders athletic director Wendell Look told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii Prep World on Tuesday night.

Miyahira, most recently the JV head coach at ‘Iolani and a former Mililani assistant under Mark Hirayama, is the new Raiders baseball head coach, Look said.

Kurt Miyahira is ‘Iolani's new baseball coach. Courtesy photo.
Kurt Miyahira is ‘Iolani’s new baseball coach. Courtesy photo.

“I’m honored and excited to continue the rich tradition of ‘Iolani baseball,” said Miyahira, who played high school baseball at Mililani. “I’ve really enjoyed my first two years with the program and look forward to the future. We have a great crop of kids and I’ve always admired ‘Iolani players. They play the right way.”

Yonamine coached ‘Iolani’s baseball team for 13 seasons, from 1997 through 2009, winning state titles in ’97 and ’98 and Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship in 1997 and 2009. He has been a Raiders softball assistant in recent seasons.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to continue the good things that have already been established with the program,” Yonamine, who is a longtime sixth-grade teacher at ‘Iolani. “I’m also looking forward to coaching these girls, many of whom I’ve already worked with as students.”

Yonamine was the starting catcher on ‘Iolani’s baseball state championship team in 1983 and also won two ILH titles (1982 and ’83) while playing for the Raiders.

Yonamine takes over the post vacated by Corey Okamura, and Miyahira replaces Brent Shimokawa.

Trusted sources close to the ‘Iolani baseball program told the Star-Advertiser and Hawaii Prep World that former Punahou head coach Eric Kadooka, who won seven straight state titles with the Buffanblu, and former UH assistant coach Keith Komeiji, who went to two regionals in nine years with the Rainbow Warriors, were among those who applied for the baseball job.


  1. Mahatma Gandhi June 18, 2015 2:22 am

    I wonder if the previos Iolani coach got fired. Iolani hasn’t won the state championship since 1998. And that traditionally has been their sport. I remember their dominant baseball program under the legendary George Fujishige.

  2. turfwar June 18, 2015 7:52 am

    Did Kadooka not get hired because he’s not an Iolani grad? Is Miyahira a Iolani grad?

  3. gm June 18, 2015 8:34 am

    Yonamine isn’t moving over to softball, he’s been there the past couple seasons. Kurt Miyahira coached the Iolani JV Baseball team the past two seasons and is a Mililani grad. Brent Shimokawa was not fired, he resigned.

  4. Iolani Raider June 18, 2015 1:34 pm

    If this story is true, it is absurd that our Iolani School did not hire coach Kadooka. Isn’t the purpose to win state titles? Last time I checked he won 7 in a row.

  5. Mahatma Gandhi June 18, 2015 3:42 pm

    Iolani Red Raider, you have to be very lucky to win 7 straight state baseball championships. And Coach Kado-oka had some very talented teams. One year in the state tournament, Roosevelt had Punahou down 8-7 going into the last inning. Punahou scored 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the game then went on to win the state championship. Another year, they came in unseeded, but all the top seeds got upset in the round of 8. Iolani was ILH champ and state #1 seed that year.
    One year, Coach Kado-oka made him team walk all the way back to Punahou from Ala Wai field after a loss. He thought his team wasn’t putting fort the effort and was just mailing it in.

  6. Mahatma Gandhi June 18, 2015 3:44 pm

    gm, did Brent Shimo-kawa resign under pressure? Iolani expects excellence in academics AND sports.

  7. Iolani Raider June 19, 2015 7:20 am

    Winning 7 in a row has more to do with skill, talent, and coaching than it does with luck. That is not a coincidence that they won 7. He has proven to be the best baseball coach Hawaii has ever seen.

  8. turfwar June 19, 2015 11:54 am

    Iolani Raider. Totally agree. And this I believe is the second time Iolani has turned down Eric. Must be personal for someone at the school. It surely is not based on ability.

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