Farrington’s Randall Okimoto said Wednesday night he is leaving his job as football coach of the Governors after 16 years at the helm.
Okimoto informed the school administration of his decision Monday and met with his players to tell them on Wednesday.
Okimoto plans to spend more time with his children, ages 9 and 4, and wife. He also said he had been weighing the pros and cons of coaching/raising a family for about the last six seasons and nearly decided several times to step down earlier than this year. He said his decision was a very tough one to make and that he thought about it for a long time.
“But I wanted to see the (new) stadium through,” he said about the school’s Skippa Diaz Stadium that opened last year. “There are so many things I will remember about coaching here for the last 21 years (five as an assistant).”
Okimoto did not rule out the possibility of returning to coaching at some point when his kids get older.
It is not known who will be Okimoto’s replacement. Farrington has begun its search, and Okimoto has asked the administration if he can be involved with the process of hiring a new coach.
Okimoto is a 1992 Farrington graduate and he played football as a standout running back from 1988 to 1991 under Skippa Diaz, who he credits with teaching him may life lessons.
Okimoto, who won 116 games in his 16 years as head coach, remains one of only four running backs to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a season. As a senior with the Govs in 1991, Okimoto rushed for 2,149 yards and 33 touchdowns in 14 games. Only Kahuku’s Mark Atuaia, who rushed for 2,377 yards that same year, has totaled more rushing yards in a single season.
His 116 wins surpassed the coach he played for, Diaz, who went 108-90-5 in his 17 seasons as head coach between 1982 and ’98. Farrington athletic director Harold Tanaka took over for Diaz in 1999.
The Governors hosted their first football game on campus last year when they played Kamehameha to open the 2017 season at brand new Skippa Diaz Stadium.
Okimoto said at the time, “If I’m not the coach next year or whatever, that’s OK. I’m so happy that Kalihi, that Farrington has this. It’s one of those things you can die happier now.”
You can read more about Okimoto and his decision to step down in Friday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser.