Kaiser’s Umemoto out as baseball coach

Kaiser head coach Ryan Umemoto was ejected by the umpire as Kalani coach Shannon Hirai looked on during an April 8 game. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Kaiser head coach Ryan Umemoto was ejected by the umpire as Kalani coach Shannon Hirai looked on during an April 8 game. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser

The revolving door continues in full swing for coaches at Kaiser.

Head baseball coach Ryan Umemoto is the latest to find himself on the outside. The Cougars administration sent out a job posting, looking for applicants for the head baseball position.

It is not clear whether Umemoto decided to step down or he was not rehired to the standard OIA one-year contract. No word was given on whether the move had anything to do with Umemoto’s ejection along with another coach and a player during a game against rival Kalani in April. Paul Honda of Hawaii Prep World reported at the time that Kaiser players were unsportsmanlike toward the Kalani players.

“They just wouldn’t stop taunting, making derogatory comments to the other team and to the umpires,” chief umpire Ken Nagasawa told Honda at the time. “Their coach lost control of the team.”

The change in baseball coaches is just another in a string of coaching changes at the school. Simon Bitanga, who was the focus of two investigations by the Department of Education into wrongdoing (exact reasons were never given by the DOE, but sources say it had to do with ethics and conduct), was recently removed as head girls basketball coach. He had been suspended during the season and still led the Cougars to the state tournament.

Junior varsity girls basketball coach Jaime Nerona was also dismissed from her position in March for undisclosed reasons.

Cougars head football coach Cameron Higgins stepped down last month after two seasons to concentrate more fully on his real estate career. Arnold Martinez, the former Moanalua head coach, was hired last week to take his place. Higgins stepped in for Rich Miano, who resigned after winning the 2013 state Division II championship.

In addition, Kaiser athletic director Rodney Iwasaki has been on medical leave and assistant athletic director Bryan Almadova has been the interim AD in his place.

Almadova sent an email to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii Prep World stating that the Cougars’ search for new baseball and girls basketball coaches has begun.

“Our girls Basketball and our baseball programs have changed directions,” Almadova wrote in the email. “(We) need new skippers to lead our programs.”

Resumes can be emailed to bryan_almadova@notes.k12.hi.us.


  1. Outlaw Jose-y June 25, 2016 12:46 am

    I guess the Kaiser Coach needed to go to Positive Coaching Alliance before the season started.

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