Kahuku chooses 5 finalists for FB coach

Sources say Kahuku is down to five finalists for the football head coach job. / Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Bruce Asato
Sources say Kahuku is down to five finalists for the football head coach job. / Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Bruce Asato

Kahuku is down to five finalists for the vacant head football coach job, according to sources close to the program.

According to multiple sources, four candidates are confirmed. Another candidate — Ron McBride, the biggest name of the bunch — is speculation due to the fact that the information came from only one trusted Honolulu Star-Advertiser source. Other sources could not confirm McBride as a finalist or as someone who has applied for the job.

McBride, 75, is best known for his days as the head coach at Utah (1990-2002). His latest college head coaching job was at Weber State from 2005 to ’11, and his last job as a head coach was in 2013, with the Utah Blaze, an arena football team.

Vanderbilt assistant Vavae Tata is one of the finalists, sources said. He grew up on Oahu and was a defensive end for Saint Louis School and UCLA. He has also been an assistant at Stanford.

Three of the finalists are based Oahu at this time — Kahuku assistant Sterling Carvalho, Kamehameha assistant and former Kahuku assistant David Te’o, and Asai Gilman, who is the executive director of Education 1st, a nonprofit Native Hawaiian organization committed to helping Hawaii’s youth better prepare themselves for college and career success.

Carvalho played quarterback at Kauai High in the early 1990s and was previously an assistant at Waialua.

Among the candidates who did not get the job, according to the sources, are: former state-championship winning Kahuku coach Siuaki Livai, who apparently did not file his resume in time; Kahuku assistant Tommy Heffernan Sr.; Kamehameha assistant and former Kahuku assistant Byron Beatty; Kahuku JV head coach and interim varsity coach James Kammerer; Kapolei assistant, former Kailua head coach and former Kahuku assistant Darren Johnson; and former Dixie State head coach Greg Croshaw.

The Kahuku head coaching position opened in March, when Lee Leslie, who led the Red Raiders to a 10-3 record and a spot in the state semifinals, resigned to return to his family in Idaho.

This is the second year in a row Kahuku is looking for a coach. A year ago, Reggie Torres, who guided the Red Raiders to three state championships in seven seasons at the helm, was let go.


  1. redalert293 April 15, 2015 6:29 pm

    Hoping for David Teo but any of those five would be fine!

  2. Recruiter808 April 15, 2015 8:35 pm

    I hope Kahuku does not make the same mistake as they did with the last coach and hire from within their own back yard. There is no way in hell that a Coach of Tata’s status would give up what he is making at Vanderbilt to go to Kahuku. It does not make any sense.

  3. Polo April 15, 2015 9:21 pm

    Give it to David please, outstanding person and coach,the the future!

  4. redalert293 April 15, 2015 9:28 pm

    If you google Tata it says he was arrested on DUI and was released from his coaching position at Vandy and now serves as a player developer. Wondering if that is why he is seeking to apply at Kahuku. Still though it seems that if he stick around a couple more years up in the SEC he would eventually get back to that level of coaching and of course that pay grade.

  5. Moke Galletes April 16, 2015 4:07 am

    Kahuku needs to get back to its roots, what makes Kahuku is Kahuku. This admin needs to wake up and smell the roses, cause out side source don’t work. They broken something that wasn’t broken in the first place and digging a deeper hole trying to fix it.

  6. Polo April 16, 2015 7:32 am

    Yes,this panel is telling our community that our guys are not good enough. With all the coaching talent that we have right in our own backyard, the message this panel of clowns sending to our community is ,hey you’re not good enough to coach here, but it was our own backyard coaches that put us and won the state championship. You already got rid of the top candidates from our backyard 2 years in a row. You can’t and won’t turn us into a Damien, Waialua or Kailua type of team with your poor decisions! Our community is too strong, stop trying to fix what wasn’t broken and just help to improve it. Choose Kahuku!! Don’t FIGHT THE POWER OF THE NORTHSHOR!! LET IT SHINE!!…You fwams

  7. Hiilei April 16, 2015 8:58 am

    Was hoping Byron would get it. if not then Tommy Heffernan sr. 2 Homegrown Kahuku boys that know how to win. As for Asai Gilman i don’t think so!! I seen him coaching at Kamehameha. Im guessing Vavae Tata will be the next head coach for Kahuku!!

  8. UteRaider April 16, 2015 9:14 am

    Personally played under coach Mac, who has always provided a vision above and beyond just football. Us poly athletes drew to his system and he made you work for it! Anyone who played with me or before/after will agree. Byron would have been my choice considering his passion, knowledge of our community and the game but we all know Politics and bad rapport being initiated by those in leadership barricaded his opportunity. Mr. Te’o is a man of his word, hard work, loved by the community and has a deep sense of concern for the success and welfare of our kids. On the field and coaching he will be a beast, smiles left outside the fence and getting to business is his bread + butter! Asai, is a man who has a global understanding of both EDUCATION and life. I trust him, I trust that he will see that kids in our program have a bridge to the next level of life not just for football but for scholastic endeavors. I will always respect a man and value him for those priorities. Though we live in a community where winning games is a top priority, I would hope Asai can meet those areas. Sterling, not a hater, but honestly is not a head coach. RRFL!!! Good luck to you all.

  9. Ka Iwa April 16, 2015 10:39 am

    This Principal at Kauhuku has initiated the whole ” I am the boss” attitude at Kahuku and has displayed at times the fascist dictatorship personalities of Stalin or Mousolini. She is the real problem!

  10. Shaka Dat April 16, 2015 2:24 pm

    Kahuku Admin and the Panel Can Go Screw Themselves…Killin Me.

  11. Education First April 17, 2015 9:45 pm

    What Kahuku needs is someone who will teach these kids that the classroom is much more important than a sport. They need someone who will show them that the numbers suggest doing well in school is the safer and smarter play than hoping for a college scholarship and NFL career. What the school needs is someone who will emphasize books, knowledge, technology, and a path towards higher education.

    Sports are all fine and dandy, but how many kids and what percentage will get a college scholarship? How many of them will play in the NFL or CFL.

    But knowledge, problem solving, contributing to the community, and developing a sens of self will last them a lifetime, far longer than any sport.

    the focus should be on school, not the field. It’s too bad the community isn’t as passionate about the classroom than the football field.

    Does the community go bananas when a classroom teacher leaves? Gets fired? Transfers? ETC?

  12. hawaiiprepworld April 18, 2015 4:44 am

    Education First: Kahuku has always been about Education/Classroom First! Just because people are passionate about a particular sports doesn’t mean school comes second!

  13. red x April 18, 2015 8:12 am

    @education first It’s a football coach they looking for not a teacher for a classroom! Besides all the coaches that we had knew education comes first!! when you hire an outsider there is a high possibility that he might leave just because there’s not much to do in Kahuku after the season is over. When you get someone that’s from Kahuku and lives around the area then he has a better chance of helping the kids on and off the field.

  14. red x April 18, 2015 11:50 am

    Really wanted Bryon beatty though! He knows what they can and can’t do and will gets the kids ready for every game mentally and physically…really a big lost.

  15. Recruiter808 April 18, 2015 8:38 pm

    Its the Parents responsibility to teach their kids that the classroom is more important than sports. If kids are not being taught that at home do you really think they are going to listen to a FootBall Coach or any Coach for that matter? This crap about learning the importance of an education over sports needs to come from home and not from a High School Coach.

  16. education first April 19, 2015 3:28 pm

    Hawaii Prep World, that may be true. Unfortunately the statistics don’t show it. From Hawaii State Assessment, to SAT and ACT scores, to post graduate education. These facts don’t support your statement.

  17. Polo April 20, 2015 2:51 pm

    @education first, it really is a in the home ,because we do have everything that an athlete needs to succeed in the classroom. It’s needs to be enforced in the home. Football will open doors,hopefully you can understand that. We just need the right Coach that will lead our kids in the right direction and winning opens, more doors than losing!!

  18. education first April 20, 2015 8:25 pm

    Football does open the doors for some. But for a very select few. Let’s look at their STRIVE HI results:
    Math Proficiency: 44%
    Reading Proficiency: 70%
    Science Proficiency: 21%
    11th Grade ACT: 28%
    College Going Rate: 61%

    That is horrible. Numbers do not lie.

  19. Good Story April 20, 2015 10:42 pm

    Education First:

    Are you serious? You’re throwing out these stats, albeit very troubling indeed, in a forum regarding a high school school football coach to make your point. So you believe that Kahuku’s passion for football and their new coach is to blame for these scores. Talk about picking the “low hanging fruit”. I admit that Hawaii has some issues with the Public Education system…however, I believe you’re oversimplifying It.

    To better make your point, please cite specific evidence where high school football coaches dramatically improved similar scholastic scores for their entire state. Your position is a correct one. But I don’t think this is the appropriate forum for it

  20. education first April 21, 2015 9:29 am

    I strongly believe their passion for football attributes to these dismal scores. I recall parents storming the field when Coach Reggie Torres was first hired. I recall the Honolulu Advertiser running several stories how parents were at practices making an uproar.

    Maybe they should storm the classrooms. Maybe they should have the same passion to sign their kids up for tutoring and SAT Prep classes.

    It’s your closed minded views that will allow this to happen. There is never a bad time to improve education. There is never a bad time to be passionate about low scores and academic achievements.

  21. Good Story April 21, 2015 12:21 pm

    So you are blaming the failures of the entire school based on a specific group of students that make up less than 10% of the entire Student Body population? And within that 10% there are students who are actually exceeding these scores.

    Hmmm.. condemn the 9 based on your prejudice of the 1… I think you are the closed minded one here.

    If anything, you’ve exposed yourself as more anti football than pro academics.

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