Cosbie learned from some NFL masters

Doug Cosbie, show in this photo from 2013, passed on some of the knowledge he learned from Pro Football Hall of Fame coaches Tom Landry and Bill Walsh to the Kamehameha football players the past three seasons. Craig T. Kojima / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Doug Cosbie, show in this photo from 2013, passed on some of the knowledge he learned from Pro Football Hall of Fame coaches Tom Landry and Bill Walsh to the Kamehameha football players the past three seasons. Craig T. Kojima / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Ever notice that Doug Cosbie is reserved?


Ever wonder where he got it from?

Well, it might be his natural personality. But, as a football coach, he certainly learned a bit of it from two of the NFL’s greatest coaches ever.

Figuratively speaking, think of Cosbie donning the late Tom Landry‘s fedora and things may get a little clearer.

Huh? Right? Right. That explains it all. Cosbie played 10 seasons under the unflappable Landry, so it’s obvious that more than a few things rubbed off on the tight end who is still seventh in receptions in Dallas Cowboys history.

Cosbie was also an assistant coach under the legendary and late Bill Walsh at Stanford in the early 1990s

In his own words, Cosbie explained it like this: “Bill had more of a personality than Tom, but they were both the same kind of calculated decision-makers. Bill taught me to approach it without emotion and that that’s how you make your decisions. You can’t get emotional about it. Landry didn’t say that, but you could tell that’s the way he was. A lot of coaches coach with emotion and it works for them. The best of the best taught me to keep my composure.

“They were both alike in their approach to teach players to focus on what you can control and that attitude and effort are the only things you have direct control over. Indirectly, you can control other things if you’re good. It was their frame of mind to find out from players how much they wanted to improve and how much effort they were willing to put in. Bill was a big influence on me as a coach; it’s a different when you’re playing (for Landry). I was fortunate to have great high school and college coaches too.”

On Wednesday, Cosbie resigned from his position as Kamehameha’s football coach after three seasons. He went 19-9.

On Christmas Eve, he spoke with Hawaii Prep World and got into detail about the reasons he’s leaving.

Don’t let his unemotional, stoic appearance fool you. He loved coaching Kamehameha and he will miss it.

“It was a really, really hard decision and the basis of it was family things (in California),” he said. “It is not like anyone is dying, but it’s something that needs attention. It would be too hard to work through if we (Cosbie and his wife Sherry) stayed here.”

Cosbie is also going to give some attention to two of his businesses that he has been putting on hold. One is in the clothing industry and the other is in food.

In addition, one of his five children is getting married on the mainland in October, smack in the middle of football season, and that also contributed to his decision.

Football is not the only reason it’s going to be tough for Cosbie to leave.

His oldest son, daughter-in-law and their children ages 2 and 4 live in Hawaii. They won’t have Sherry Cosbie around to watch her grandchildren.

Interestingly, it was three years ago when a college kid who used to play for Kamehameha who Cosbie was coaching suggested in an email to Cosbie that he apply for the Warriors job left vacant by the outgoing David Stant.

“He knew how much we loved Hawaii,” Cosbie said. “I thought they probably wouldn’t even interview me, a haole from the mainland, at a school for Hawaiians.

“It has been a great experience coaching at Kamehameha. God is a big part of it here. We go to chapel to pray before every game and we have strong Christian leaders. A bunch of really great kids.”

Cosbie recalls a potluck celebration after a scrimmage against Farrington in the preseason.

“There are not a lot of high schools in a lot of states where two teams can get together like that,” he said.

A story that involves Warriors running back Kaulana Apelu will stick with Cosbie, said Apelu exemplifies what Kamehameha football players are all about.

“It was the first game of the season against Castle (in 2013),” Cosbie said. “He had an ACL tear previously and there he was laying on the ground with another ACL tear. I remember being with him and seeing the agony he was in, not just physical agony, but mental agony as well. Here he was, his stepfather had died in the spring, and it’s two and a half quarters into the season, and he’s such an awesome kid. To have to go through all of that at age 17 or 18. That will be a vivid and one of the most lasting memories for me at Kamehameha. He was being recruited and people were wondering how he was going to do in his senior year. Now, he’s a freshman walk-on at Oregon, starting on special teams and playing linebacker.

“There were a lot of great moments, too, and there were a lot of players just like Kaulana.”


  1. RR4L December 25, 2015 4:18 pm

    Rumor is Cosby is taking a football job in Europe. Google his name under the “News” Section, you’ll find it there. Did he not think people would find out?

  2. The Rim December 26, 2015 7:17 pm

    Wish the man well, it doesn’t matter what he left for or why.

  3. Spartan December 26, 2015 10:46 pm

    He has the right to choose any job he wants. Why should he care if people found out? There is nothing he did that is dishonest here. This is America.

  4. RR4L December 27, 2015 7:38 am

    He lied about why he was leaving.. That’s what’s dishonest. He told the school and his players that he was leaving for family reasons in California but yet he’s actually leaving for another job in Italy. Just be honest and upfront

  5. Reel Talk December 27, 2015 9:26 am

    RR4L, maybe things changed? We don’t know. At the time of the story maybe he was leaving for family reasons. A job could have opened up after that comment was made assuming it was accurate. That does not mean he is dishonest. Unless we all know the truth which no one does. And assuming all the newspapers are accurate which sometimes things are taken out of context, who know. And who really cares. He left, did his best while he was here, and from what I got from many kids and parents, they liked Coach Cosbie a lot. So what is wrong with leaving? The season is over and he more than fulfilled his duties. He doesn’t even need to say why he’s leaving. And unless we all know the whole story which I bet neither you or I do not know, why is it even anyone’s business? As humans aren’t we allowed to change our minds? Do we need to disclose everything we do? He is allowed some privacy. This isn’t the NFL, it’s high school sports, geez. Leave the guy alone. Unless I know the entire story, I reserve judgement. I hope others would do the same instead of living on a blog and insulting this fine man. If you are upset, maybe craft a letter to him personally with your complaints. That might be more effective.

  6. RR4L December 27, 2015 10:45 am

    If you look at the article published by the Italian newspaper, he accepted the job in early December. Well before his announcement to Kamehameha. So your point is moot. Just be honest.

  7. Reel Talk December 27, 2015 11:30 am

    You are assuming that the reporting is accurate. Have you double checked the sources? You know how many times news and media get dates and information incorrect? Almost every day in the advertiser alone there is a retraction or an update made to stories since information is either inaccurate or missing certain elements. So even though it’s reported it isn’t always correct or 100% accurate. It kind of seems you have an ulterior motive here. But my real question for you is why do want to tell someone to be honest yet hide behind a fictitious name. It really smells of hypocrisy. Shouldn’t you be honest too unless your parents named you RRFL which I highly doubt.

    At the end of the day I applaud and congratulate all coaches who help the keiki. I am thankful that Coach like Mr. Cosby help the kids. I find it both embarrassing and irresponsible that people of our community feel the need to attack someone or call out their action behind a false name. Don’t you have any integrity?

  8. The Rim December 27, 2015 12:43 pm

    He made a family decision, it is non of our business why and surly doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. If he is taking a new job, GREAT!

  9. Polo January 6, 2016 6:51 pm

    RRFL shut the hell up! You’re such a gossiper! Wish the man best of luck and you can go back and repent from your stupidity. OG RRFL!

  10. Nick Abramo January 6, 2016 10:56 pm

    A few days after this article written by me was published, we asked Doug Cosbie if he took a head coach job in Italy. He said “No.” He said that in March and April, he is going to help a team in Italy that he coached in 2010. I believe him, but, like with anybody else on the planet, he could by lying. I saw the story that was published in Italian and pressed the “translation” button. I truly believe the translation is not accurate and it leads people to believe he will be the head coach. I will keep my eyes open on this, however, and try to get confirmation from someone from the Italian team.

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