An interesting sidebar to tonight’s big game is that both head coaches are former NFL players.
Punahou’s Kale Ane was a center who specialized in long-snapping for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1975 to 1980 and with the Green Bay Packers in 1981.
Kamehameha’s Doug Cosbie played tight end for the Dallas Cowboys from 1979 to 1988.
Ane doesn’t recall matching wits as a head coach previously against a fellow NFL alumnus.
“I think I came back to Punahou after Blane (Gaison) was done at Kamehameha,” he said.
And he’s right, as Gaison, who played for the Atlanta Falcons, ended his stint coaching his alma mater in 1995 and Ane took over as Buffanblu helmsman in 1999.
Ane said jokingly that most ex-pro players “have more commonsense than to coach, and added, “I enjoy it. I’m sure Doug does, too.”
He said it does get the juices going a little bit more to go up against another former NFL guy.
“We all want to earn each other’s respect, whether it’s as players or coaches. Doug has been very successful in his life, and has been already at Kamehameha. You expect them to have a lot of attention to detail. You don’t see that with everyone.”
They never played against each other in an NFL regular season game, but both remember meeting a few years ago at a Hawaii high school all-star game when Cosbie was an assistant coach at Cal.
Cosbie, who is in his first season coaching Hawaii high school football, did have knowledge of Punahou School during his playing career. That’s because his teammate and friend, Mark Tuinei, was a Buffanblu.
“I knew Mark very well, and that he was a big Punahou alumnus,” Cosbie said of Tuinei, who died in 1999 after a 15-year career with the Cowboys that included two Pro Bowls and three Super Bowl championships.
“He was always a great athlete, a defensive tackle starting out and then moved to offensive tackle. That was great for his career and even better for the organization,” Cosbie said. “He was a great offensive tackle and was a heckuva defensive tackle also. Big and athletic. We played together on our off-season charity basketball team. Mark was pretty good in the paint.”