Kahuku makes a statement

Kahuku’s statement on the hiring of new football coach Lee Leslie:

“Lee Leslie, head coach at Idaho’s Kuna High, has been named head coach at Kahuku High and Intermediate, effective later this month. During his 20-plus-year career as a professional coach and teacher at the high school and professional levels, Lee led his teams to 17 championships.

His teams’ titles include two academic state high school football championships for Bishop Kelly in Idaho. Lee has earned nine Coach of the Year awards, and has coached in the Arena Football League and at the University of Utah. His former players who turned pro include Joe Germaines, Minnesota Vikings; Bart Hendricks, Chicago Bears; and Jerry Montgomery, New Orleans Saints.

The father of four also coached his three sons’ teams to state high school football championships. Lee’s ties with Hawaii include coaching former Kahuku High football players at the University of Utah; knowing many of Hawaii’s coaches including Norm Chow for more than 30 years; and facing off repeatedly against Kahuku High in the championship games at team camp, when he coached Utah’s Hillcrest High Huskies.

“I consider Kahuku to be one of the top opportunities in the country,” Lee said. “They’ve always had amazing athletes.” He plans to start by having his players get to know him and his expectations. His vision is to coach them to “a winning spirit and attitude on and off the field. I’ll spend as much time with them off the field to ensure that their GPA and ACT scores are where they need to be,” he said.

Lee credits his upbringing – his mother died the day he was born, and he and his siblings ended up in an orphanage – and his grandparents, who eventually raised him, with instilling his morals and values. “Number one, they taught me to respect women. Number two, they taught me to work hard and to do it right.” His high school coaches taught him the same principles and, “I try to be the same kind of coach,” he said.

“With many qualified candidates, it was a very difficult decision,” said Kahuku High Principal Pauline Masaniai. “Coach Leslie has been very successful in all the programs he’s developed, he’s a motivational speaker, big-hearted and has integrity. … He’s known for rallying the community, building support, and structurally improving his stadiums, locker rooms and facilities,” she said.

“Kahuku High is creating the whole package – academic, extracurricular, cultural, arts – so parents don’t have to look beyond their own community,” Masaniai said. “Coach Lee represents the connection for all of our students and the bridge for those who choose to pursue college and football opportunities in the mainland.” She also cited his “great love of the Islands and its ethnic diversity.”

Lee, married for 30 years this month, earned his bachelor’s degrees in sociology and a teaching certificate.”


  1. Fan March 7, 2014 3:01 pm

    C’mon Masaniai, issue ANOTHER statement thanking your former coach for years of honorable service to your school and community.

  2. OregonRedRaider87 March 7, 2014 4:01 pm

    All the stuff coming out of Masaniai mouth….describe’s Reggie to the “T”….what the heck???
    Thanks Brada Reg for the great years of unselfish service to the Red Raider Nation.

  3. Jeff Parker March 8, 2014 6:24 am

    Naming a new football coach is not going to help very much, if at all, with Kahuku High’s “package”. As long as the facility and community feel that Kahuku football players should be treated differently than every other student the post high school achievements are going to be subpar. I was at Kahuku from the ’80’s to the 2000’s and saw the way things are there. When Reggie was named HC he tried to change the culture to a more responsible one, and was met with opposition from the community. I hope the administration at KHS realizes that change needs to start at the top and spread downwards.

  4. posterized09 March 8, 2014 1:53 pm

    Rumor around Red Raider Nation is the school admin wanted Reggie out. They waited til he was on a trip to the mainland to announce their decision. This whole situation is suspect if you ask me.

  5. posterized09 March 8, 2014 1:53 pm

    The whole re-application process was a front to oust Reggie. Someone should look into this scandal.

  6. Paper Crane March 9, 2014 2:40 am

    He,…he, wow eh what was that,..again one more time; what it is whereas no matter who says it, how they say it, or when they say it,…there’s always going to be big time mouth full of pros and cons pilikea and surely the bitter sweet smoke in Red Raiders Nation will only confuse the players and believe it,…the players can damn sure read and listen,..remember they are academically inclined? Sure make sss when some supporters keep smoking up the air and yet so sad for those who want changes;…get ready to punt if everyone doesn’t pull together.

  7. Old School Dave March 9, 2014 8:27 am

    Possible effort by BYU to reestablish a recruiting pipeline to Kahuku High. Principal Masaniai is a BYUH grad and has no ties to UH. Not many Red Raiders have signed with BYU since their coaching staff made disparaging remarks about local recruits after Kona Schwenke decommitted and signed with Notre Dame back in 2010.

  8. tahiti March 10, 2014 3:24 pm

    Since when did football become a big part in academics? How can a new principal put football first and find someone who has numerous championship under his belt. This is high school, not college or NFL. High coaches don’t get paid that much. Why are you doing this? Just remember God does not sleep and he is watching your every move and your motive. Can’t figure you out. Kahuku is not a private school where they can offer scholarships. What is going on – time will tell.

  9. 1stand10 March 10, 2014 11:48 pm

    I don’t know either coach, but the principal stinks! Since when does a high school coach move all the way here for a couple thousand dollars. To top it off he is “promised” a job at the school. Something is fishy when a person is promised a much higher paying job as an “add on” to a much lesser paying job! This is a classic example of where a new principal “cleans house” to put in people that they like, qualified or not. How many times have we seen this if you work for the DOE? Would Leslie come here to coach if he wasn’t given a teaching job at Kahuku? Once again the DOE and OIA should be ashamed of themselves. With all the rhetoric of bad teachers and educational improvement, sports again reigns supreme! I hope Leslie is all the things he is made out to be for the sake of the students. Remember that when someone says they are running TO something, they are often times also running FROM something!!

  10. Sourcey March 11, 2014 12:01 pm

    Some legitimate sources in Idaho are putting Lee Leslie’s character into question. I hope some good hard working journalist investigates this one. This will be Lee Leslie’s 3rd school in 4 years and 1 year he was out of coaching completely. Something definitely doesn’t add up.

  11. NiteMarcher March 12, 2014 12:14 pm

    Mahalo Reggie for all you’ve done for KHS over the many years you’ve been there. You always thought about the kids academics first before sports and were always supportive of all student athletes, not just football players but all the sports you coached. Wishing you only the best to come in the future. Keep your head held up high and the humbleness you’ve always been known for…again, thanks for all the excellent work you have done for the community and KHS, it’s gonna be hard to replace someone like you. I also would like to mention that I think
    “Old School Dave” hit it right on the nose with his statement.

  12. Paper Crane March 13, 2014 7:50 pm

    Had insight couple years ago yet it never transpired; like a dotted line from Kapalama to Kahuku whereas one of our own, an alumini returning home,..like a football homecoming to take over coaching. Yet it never happen whereas he sure knew about all them unattached part-time/sideline chatter from supporters,..them sideline name calling and finger pointing and still what it would take to deliver and groom professionalism in the players whereas to provide for the best kind of football the Red Raiders Nation demands; nevertheless he headed west not just for the salary but for better, greater, and humble support he’ll receive from all them hard core dedicated fans or maybe it’s because of his numbers and past reputation,…along with his mastery to build his kind of professionalism in players of higher level education;….yes bottom line,…David took the better of the best. Yet don’t count him out whereas one day he’ll U-turn home…like there’s a right time and place for everything.

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