Cantiberos resigns as McKinley football coach

Sam Cantiberos went 0-16 in two seasons as McKinley football coach. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.
Sam Cantiberos went 0-16 in two seasons as McKinley football coach. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

After two seasons, Sam Cantiberos left his post as the McKinley football head coach earlier this week.

The ability to spend more with his three young kids — ages 3 and 4 and five months — and a new full-time job is the reason, Cantiberos and McKinley athletic director Bob Morikuni confirmed Friday. Being a head football coach is a time-consuming endeavor.

“We very much so wanted Sam to be back, but just his family and new job didn’t make it happen,” Morikuni said.

Cantiberos, a former McKinley running back, went 0-8 in Division I in 2015 while battling a numbers (lack of turnout) problem.

With a better turnout of players last season, the Tigers went 0-8 in OIA D-II under Cantiberos. Despite the record, the downtrodden program appeared to be on solid footing, and according to Morikuni, going in the right direction.

“I have a very young family and I want to watch them grow up because these are precious times,” Cantiberos said. “So, with a heavy heart, I resigned and am leaving on good terms with McKinley.”


  1. ??? December 24, 2016 1:02 pm

    McKinley needs to hire an alumni with ties to Mayor Wright housing so they can keep their talent at McKinley…

  2. Patricia December 24, 2016 2:03 pm

    Sam was more than a coach to our family. He was a positive role model for son who has had somewhat of a troubled in life. While I would have liked a better season… his commitment to the health and well-being of my son was so much more than winning a game. More should put their pride aside and think about what’s important… our kids! “Good luck coach on your future endeavors! #familyfirst”

  3. Hala Tree December 24, 2016 3:48 pm

    No shame in wanting to spend time with your family and also to provide for them.

  4. Mahatma Gandhi December 24, 2016 5:02 pm

    ???, you really think Mayor Wright kids would stay with McKinley if St Louis offered them? McKinley’s roster must get raided by the ILH every year. Farrington roster too.

  5. Lino December 24, 2016 6:22 pm

    Coach wasnt the problem. Its the side line parents trying to be coaches. Parents who dont support the team but worrying about their own kid. You can’t have a team with parents who dont have support or make crap comments at games towards the kids. Keep the indians off the field and let the chiefs do their jobs

  6. ??? December 24, 2016 7:30 pm

    @Mahatma Gandhi
    Come on, How did David Tanuvasa do it?

  7. bumbuchas December 24, 2016 10:19 pm

    Recruiting from Roosevelt & Farrington, try ask their HC’s on that. But……it’s all good as many other public schools did the same.

  8. Theydontknow December 24, 2016 10:41 pm

    People come on here think they know, the best part is they never there,but can voice, sad thing is, the coach so scared to talk to the parents, he rather tell them what they want to hear! Best news ever, thanks for ending our 2016 with the greatest NEWS

  9. mokihana December 25, 2016 2:02 am

    Mckinley football was painful to watch. I was there.

  10. Mahatma Gandhi December 25, 2016 4:55 am

    St Louis has recruited numerous Samoans from Mayor Wright. The younger Ma’afala brothers. The oldest Ma’afala brother, Nick, played for McKinley. They recruited the Salavea brothers out of Mayor Wright. Current DL stud Faatui Tuitele. St Louis is a win-at-all-costs football factory. Good Catholic values. I grew up in the 1970s. Kamehameha was the dominant state football program then. I was jealous of their success. I wanted opposing players to tell me they played dirty. But every player I talked never said Kamehameha played dirty. Not one. They just said Kamehameha players were tough. Instead, they all told me it was St Louis who had the dirty players. They said St Louis players would punch you in pileups. Stuff like that.

  11. Hyde December 25, 2016 9:17 am

    the program needs is positive influences. Positive parents and staff. Not coaches or parents especially few parents swearing and making the kids feel worthless. Let the coaches and staff di their jobs. Keep the negative house wives away from the field.

  12. Kalani December 25, 2016 9:28 am

    Even if st louis recruits it should be academics first. Plus the problem with mckinley they have 2 problemic mothers who brings to much negativity to the program. Let the coaches do their jobs

  13. Seawalker December 25, 2016 10:15 am

    Out with the old, in with the new. Ample Samoans around. Just need a winning attitude, dude. Look at Kalani. Laughing stock no more. Even U.H. turned it around and took the Hawaii Bowl. With the new football field, Jhapaknee High looks brighter than the city lights of City Hall. McKinley has the numbers. McKinley has tradition. McKinley will start winning once more!

  14. Tradition December 25, 2016 1:52 pm

    Sorry seawalker the nee field is for looks only not for games. Thanks to the new rich greedy neighbors

  15. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate December 25, 2016 2:45 pm

    cant coach when there are 5 parents breathing down your neck

  16. Theydontknow December 25, 2016 3:55 pm

    Parents is who helps with the team, if you know and your there, McKinley has no parent support, parents swearing really, well how about coach Sam calling the kids pathetic? I would think you would want to have a good coaching staff, and parent support! I can say, only a few parents actually held up this football season! Everything g starts from the TOP!!!!! God has a perfect plan for this team!!!!still the best news WE as a family got to end our 2016 and start off 2017 brand new!

  17. Theydontknow December 25, 2016 3:57 pm

    And coaching with 5 parents down his neck, give me a break! Those 5 parents was the biggest help on this team!!!!!!

    Killing me

  18. Marco December 25, 2016 5:51 pm

    Grabum nah brah two moms continously broke the program along with the coach. Can name most of the kids who played could tell you who they are. They called the OIA, bugged the principal, made their kid turn against the coach. They divided the team the parents and the program

  19. Miller December 25, 2016 6:06 pm

    Good luck for the up coming seniors and new coaches your going to need it. Advisory stay clear of the parentals of the class of 2018

  20. ??? December 25, 2016 6:55 pm

    You will always have complaining and unhappy parents it’s part of sports, if you cant handle parents and fans complaining you shouldn’t be a coach. Cal Lee has uku million championships and he still has parents and fans complaining.

  21. mokihana December 25, 2016 11:56 pm

    It’s Tigers gone wild folks. I was there. Sad for the student athletes.

  22. Alpha December 26, 2016 7:14 am

    What I’m getting from former McKinley coaches is the kids are too soft because the mothers are too involved.. but I don’t think it’s the mothers, coaches or players to blame. McKinley football hasen’t been the same since Takamori retired, it was slowly on the rise during Cho’s run. Since Morikuni how many wins the football team has?

  23. Hulu December 26, 2016 7:54 am

    Mckinley has and had alot of talented players. Problems is they dont know how to be used on the field

  24. "UNITY=STRENGHT" December 26, 2016 12:20 pm

    Fundamentally Mckinley wasnt producing needs disipline and stamina if you dont have that no sense play they need a coach that can instill that in the program first and foremost then build on that like Coach Nelson Maeda from Castle produced winnings regardless of what he had that year small but scrappy can imagine what he could do if he had the beef.

  25. Theydontknow December 27, 2016 12:27 pm

    Kids are not soft, because of their mothers, they are highly blessed to have there mother there supporting there son making sure they are not being treated unfair, the coach only needs the boys because they are not on AP as soon as his all stars get eligible he forgets who was there to carry the team because he’s to busy worrying about number 1 and working with the other kids!

  26. Theydontknow December 27, 2016 12:30 pm

    You will alway have unhappy parents, but isn’t it your job to find out the problem and work together!

    Thank you Coach Sam for making that decision you made my year by far the best news for 2016!!!!!
    Your leadership,words and coaching was NEVER aligned with your actions!

  27. ProudMama August 12, 2017 3:43 pm

    It was definitely a few “bully” parents who destroyed the upswing of the program. I am a parent of a former student athlete who witnessed the downfall first hand. I have no qualms about exposing those “bully parents” especially when it is obvious that they are doing it again to the current staff this 2017 season. Going on 3 different coaches/staff where these mothers have found their way in to try and manipulate the system for their sons’ best interest. The head of the operation was the so-called “Team Moms”, who thought they were above all rules. They continuously badgered the coaching staff & players who were not part of their sons’ cliques. As soon as the coaches reinforced Parent/Student/Staff rules those mothers went on a rampage to divide the team. If anyone attended the games last season, you would have witnessed the disgusting behavior of these parents as they publically humiliated the players on the field by yelling profanities and rude remarks. This particular group of parents kept yelling remarks at our quarterback even, to the point where the kid felt bullied and wanted to quit because of their bullying. I guarantee you that this Theydontknow person is one of these parents who have consistently harrassed othdr team parents who were “not with them”, the program, the administration, & the players themselves. I can tell by the way she is writing her posts…it is the same ignorant, uncouth and immature tone that she uses when she posted all her degrading comments of the team & coaches on her Facebook page when she publically blasted a Player of the Week posting that he did not deserve the honor (because she said her son should have gotten it). This is the same mother who spearheaded the petition to fire Coach Cantiberos, stating allegations that just weren’t true. These are the same mothers who want to reward their kids for poor behavior and teach them that they are above all rules. When their sons get disciplined in any way by the coaching staff, they retaliated and created such a stench within the program that it really brought the whole team down. One of these mothers made their son quit football because of his grades…but then made him sit with them on the sidelines and watch his team practice for 3 hours (not to mention that the poor kid was crying). If you ask me, if you were such a concerned parent about grades, wouldn’t you be making sure your kid go home to do his homework instead of making him watch football practice so you can mingle with the other moms?! It was really sad how this group of bully parents only cared about themselves, rather than their own kids or team’s future. Not to mention, Team Moms would talk bad about many other team parents behind their backs and be completely fake to their face. Unfortunately, McKinley did lose a positive role model of a coach who, in my opinion, knew winning was unlikely, but wanted to make sure these troubled kids were instilled with values before they left the program. Glad my son has graduated and that I don’t have to coexist with those immature sideline parents. Best wishes, coach. I apologize for not being more vocal about this when it mattered, but my son is forever grateful for the things you taught him.

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