Kamehameha gathers to honor late coach Santos

Kamehameha held a ceremony to honor intermediate football head coach Rob Santos on Saturday. Santos died Oct. 6. Courtesy Kamehameha Schools.

Kamehameha lost a longtime football and track and field coach Oct. 6, when Rob Santos died.

Last Saturday, the school honored his memory at a ceremony at Kunuiakea Stadium.

Santos was an All-State offensive lineman for the Warriors and returned to Kapalama to coach for more than 30 years. He also volunteered more than 14,000 hours of his time developing ‘oiwi leaders, according to a news release sent out by the school.

Rob Santos coached at Kamehameha for more than 30 years. Courtesy Kamehameha Schools.

During the ceremony, intermediate, junior varsity and varsity teams and cheerleaders stood together on the field to pay tribute to Santos and his family, which also took part in the gathering. Athletic director Glennie Adams and varsity football coach Abu Ma’afala delivered speeches and shared anecdotes with the crowd.

“Rob was the perfect fit for our intermediate football program as he is the person that we wanted our student-athletes to learn from when they first started,” Adams said in the release. “He cared deeply for every one of his players, and demonstrated this by anonymously paying for meals and shoes, and making sure that every child was taken care of.

“As quiet-natured as he was, Rob wanted to win — he wanted to win the right way. One of his biggest joys was when he and his coaching staff were able to get every athlete into the game.”

At the ceremony’s conclusion, Ma’afala presented Santos’ wife, Malu, with a Warrior football helmet emblazoned with Santos’ No. 74 from his playing days.

“Coach Santos was that inspirational figure, and he wanted to influence future leaders,” Kamehameha head of school Taran Chun said in the release. “I see hundreds of future leaders here behind me today, and I know Coach Santos’ legacy will live on for generations to come.”

The Warriors started Saturday’s intermediate game against ‘Iolani by intentionally taking a delay of game penalty to honor Santos.

Kamehameha varsity coach Abu Ma’afala hugged Malu Chow Santos, the wife of the late Rob Santos, at last Saturday’s gathering to honor Santos. Courtesy Hawaii Media Source.


  1. Mahatma Gandhi October 18, 2018 5:10 pm

    How he went make? I remember when he played for Kamehameha late 1970s. Back when Kamehameha was known as a football school. Was “Robin Santos” back then. Also has Tim Clark and Wayne Wills on that Kamehameha O-Line.
    RIP Coach Santos, mahalo for all the good work and time you gave to Kamehameha.

  2. RIP RS 74 October 18, 2018 8:43 pm

    Rest in peace #74. Died of a broken heart. Love you coach rob!

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