‘Iolani selects Ryan Hirata as boys basketball coach

Ryan Hirata, who coached at Mid-Pacific, will return to his alma mater and take over as 'Iolani boys basketball coach. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Ryan Hirata has been selected as ‘Iolani School’s new head coach for its boys basketball program.

Hirata moves over to his alma mater from Mid-Pacific, where he coached for the past five seasons and was named the ILH coach of the year once. Prior to calling the shots for the Owls, Hirata was an assistant to ‘Iolani coach Dean Shimamoto, who stepped down on March 1 after four ILH and three state titles in 10 seasons.

“Coaching has been my passion since the day I started back at ‘Iolani in 2007,” Hirata said in a release. “Now, to come back to the school that has helped shape me into the person that I am today is a dream come true. I look forward to carrying on the long-standing tradition of what it means to represent ‘Iolani basketball and be ‘One Team.’”

>> ADDED: 1-on-1: Ryan Hirata on “toughest decision” to leave MPI for ‘Iolani

Hirata won two state titles for ‘Iolani as a player and was All-State second team for both newspapers after his senior season according to a press release. He went on to play at Chaminade, where he has worked in the athletic department since 2009.

Hirata will be the third boys basketball coach at ‘Iolani in the last 30 years. Mark Mugiishi won seven state titles, including five in a row from 2002 to ’06, after he was hired in 1989. He stepped down in 2009 and was replaced by Shimamoto.


  1. Mahatma Gandhi April 5, 2019 12:38 pm

    Best basketball coaching job in the state, by far. Iolani Red Raiders administration is totally committed to putting a state championship caliber team on the floor every year. That means they go out and scout and recruit the best young basketball players to Iolani.

  2. Puanani e’a April 5, 2019 12:48 pm

    Congratulations Ryan Hirata. Good man for this job!

  3. !!! April 5, 2019 3:00 pm


    First of all the just the ‘Iolani Raiders, and why do you always mane these salty recruiting claims?

  4. Loca1boiAnonymous April 5, 2019 4:29 pm


    Because Iolani does. You think they hand out tryout fliers at the Glee and speech and debate club meetings and win state championships?

    Anyways, Hirata was the man for this job as soon as it opened. I’m sad to see him leave MPI I was rooting for his success there but understand why he’d take over for his alma mater.

  5. ??? April 5, 2019 4:41 pm

    Of course Iolani recruits! there is nothing illegal about it.

  6. Give It a Rest! April 5, 2019 5:08 pm

    Someone previously mentioned that ‘Iolani recruited Derrick Low. The guy graduated in 2005, which was before my time so I can’t say whether this claim has any credibility or not. Other than MAYBE Derrick Low umpteen years ago, who else has ‘Iolani recruited? It’s like listening to a bunch of jealous school girls gossiping…

    And yes, in fact, ‘Iolani does send out an announcement to the entire school inviting all interested kids to attend tryouts. If ‘Iolani had a Glee Club, those kids would be invited too.

  7. !!! April 6, 2019 7:36 am

    Straight facts “give it a rest”, agreed. If any of you can name and state the date of which ANY of the players were recruited and entered Iolani, please state it. And also include which school they came from. And if you can’t? Just admir]t you are wrong. Note: (please keep it in the last 10 years becasue your claims are about these past years teams)

  8. ??? April 6, 2019 3:23 pm

    Straight Facts: Bet your life everyone on the basketball team pays FULL tuition?
    I bet you wouldn’t!!!

  9. !!! April 6, 2019 6:21 pm

    Do you even know the stories behind these very hard working kids? Do you know when they entered the school? Do you know who and who doesn’t get financial aid? Do you know how the financial aaid process works? Do you know that your claims of “paying FULL tuition” is bs because you just don’t know what is going on. They may earn aid for other reasons, Iolani does not give for “athletics”, they give for people who can’t afford or those who deserve it for their academic background. Do you know when these kids entered Iolani, and how they got there? I don’t think so. Stop blabbering about all of this and just be happy for the kids, they work very hard day and night to be student athletes and get their diplomas. Thank you…

  10. Spartacus April 6, 2019 9:28 pm


    If ??? knew any of this he would give specific examples. It’s clear he/she is just making blanket statements on perception without evidence.

  11. ??? April 6, 2019 10:19 pm

    You said ALL we need to hear !!!

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