Kila Kaaihue is Kaiser’s new baseball coach. He was hired Sunday by principal Justin Mew.
The former major league slugger who played his high school ball at ‘Iolani retired as an active professional player in 2015. Aside from taking the Cougars job, Kaaihue is also planning to go to college to get a business degree, according to Kaiser acting athletic director Bryan Almadova.
“He was so excited and his wife was so excited when he found out he got the job,” Almadova said. “I like his demeanor and what he brings. He’s passionate about the game and working with individuals on becoming good people and respectful citizens.”
Seven candidates applied for the job, which opened when Ryan Umemoto was not rehired to the Department of Education’s standard one-year contract.
“Kila has an unreal resume,” Almadova added.
Kaaihue graduated from ‘Iolani in 2002 and was in the Kansas City Royals organization from 2002 to 2011. During that time, he played three seasons in the majors. When he was in the minors, he was named as an All-Star in three different leagues.
In 2012, he was in the Oakland Athletics organization before joining the Arizona Diamondbacks organization in 2013. He became a Central League All-Star in Japan during his stint with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp from 2013 to 2014. After that, he spent some time in the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals organizations.
Kaaihue has coaching experience with American Legion at ‘Iolani and has been involved in clinics and camps in Hawaii and on the mainland.
Kaaihue’s father and brother, both named Kala, also played baseball professionally.