Lee vs. Look: A battle of legends

Cal Lee talked with his All-Star defense in 1991, the same year Wendell Look took over at Iolani. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser
Cal Lee talked with his All-Star defense in 1991, the same year Wendell Look took over at Iolani. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser

Every time Cal Lee and Wendell Look shake hands following a football game, another record is set.

The Saint Louis coach has the most wins of any high school coach in Hawaii, and the ‘Iolani boss is fourth behind legends Larry Ginoza (189) of Waianae and Kamehameha’s Cal Chai (186).

If your lone criteria is career wins, Look joins those legends on Hawaii’s Mount Rushmore of coaches.

When they lead their teams onto the field in Friday’s ILH playoff game, it will represent the most combined wins between two coaches in Hawaii’s history (435). And it has been that way ever since Lee returned in 2014.

Before he came back, the record was held by Lee and longtime rival Don Botelho when they met in 2001 with 381 career wins together. Cal Lee and Kale Ane of Punahou have since eclipsed that, assuming wins by both of them on Friday night they will have 391 victories between them.

Ane is closing in on a special record. If his Buffanblu can beat the Crusaders twice more before one of the coaches hangs them up, he will tie Botelho for most wins against Lee with six. Coaches who have sent Lee home a loser in his high school career:

Don Botelho, 6; Kale Ane, 4; Eddie Hamada, 4; Kanani Souza, 3; Dan Morrison, 2; Siuaki Livai, 2; Doug Bennett, 2; Mike Pavich, 2; Al Torco, 2; Dave Eldredge, 2; Vavae Tata, 1; Rod York, 1; Wendell Look, 1; Hugh Yoshida, 1; Cal Chai, 1; Alex Kane, 1; George Naukana, 1.

Iolani’s Look is already the career wins leader at his alma mater, ahead of legends like Eddie Hamada and Father Bray, and just 10 wins away from catching Kamehameha’s Chai and 13 away from Ginoza before he nestles into the No. 2 spot behind Lee.

Only one of those wins came against Lee, though, beating him just once in 25 tries. That win was a close one, 27-26 behind Brian Ah Yat‘s 334 passing yards in October 1993. It was Look’s 22nd career win. Lee has since beaten him 19 times in a row.

Lee is so far ahead of every other coach in the history of Hawaii that you can’t get on this list without coaching against him and probably will not be able to for the next few generations. How incredible is Lee’s Ruthian record? Consider this:

Current Star-Advertiser coach of the year Vavae Tata of Kahuku is 20-1 in two years. If Tata averages 10 wins a season and Lee never wins another game, the Red Raiders head man would catch his former coach in 2039 when he is past his 60th birthday.

Career wins for Oahu coaches
1. Cal Lee, 259-38-5
2. Larry Ginoza, 189-40-8
3. Cal Chai, 186-58-5
4. Wendell Look, 176-126-2
5. John Velasco, 163-82-6
6. Hugh Yoshida, 156-58-6
7. Eddie Hamada, 156-137-10
8. Don Botelho, 152-279-12
9. Kale Ane, 130-57
10. Wendell Say, 125-121-1

Cal Lee (258-38-5) vs. Oahu’s top 10 winningest coaches (87-16)
vs. Larry Ginoza, never met
vs. Cal Chai, 5-1
vs. Wendell Look, 24-1
vs. John Velasco, never met
vs. Hugh Yoshida, 0-1 <1984>
vs. Eddie Hamada, 13-4
vs. Don Botelho, 35-6
vs. Kale Ane, 9-3
vs. Wendell Say, 1-0

Wendell Look vs. Oahu’s 10 winningest coaches (27-46)
vs. Cal Lee, 1-24
vs. Larry Ginoza, never met
vs. Cal Chai, never met
vs. John Velasco, never met
vs. Hugh Yoshida, never met
vs. Eddie Hamada, never met
vs. Don Botelho, 20-4
vs. Kale Ane, 5-18
vs. Wendell Say, 1-0

Kale Ane vs. Oahu’s 10 winningest coaches (29-14)
vs. Cal Lee 3-9
vs. Larry Ginoza, never met
vs. Cal Chai, never met
vs. Wendell Look, 18-5
vs. John Velasco, never met
vs. Hugh Yoshida, never met
vs. Eddie Hamada, never met
vs. Don Botelho, 6-0
vs. Wendell Say, 2-0


  1. ??? October 14, 2016 5:51 am

    How can you put Iolani’s coach Look on Hawaii’s Mount Rushmore with Cal Lee?
    Half his career has been in DII, you gotta be kidding!! He is the king of DII i’ll give him that.
    If coach Ginoza (Waianae) was in DII he would have been 237-0…Hell, I give Aiea’s coach more props cause even when they go 1-5 year after year he chooses to stay in DI..
    Iolani is going 0-6 in DI & still going states. SMH?????

  2. f milo October 14, 2016 7:37 am

    I agree. Look shouldn’t be in the same class as Hamada as well. Its embarrassing what the Look Era has transitioned a once proud and prestigious football program into.

    Div 1 Titles
    Father Kenneth Bray (3)
    Ed Hamada (3)
    Wendell Look (0)

    No Can…

  3. Jason Keuma October 14, 2016 8:49 am

    ????- exactly. Looking forward for OIA5 to meat ILH4. 0-6 and they get a playoff spot. This who third division is an after thought. Poorly thought through.

    Make it make sense. One champion per division playoff. As lopsided as some games are, I do not believe there is enough teams to have 3 divisions. If the top 6 OIA become the “open division” they will end up only playing each other.

    Poorly thought through. Watch if they create a new “league” combined with ILH and OIA one of the clauses will by dropping transfer rule from OIA to ILH.

    I like the game, top OIA vs. the Top ILH, yet include the outer islands to be a true state champion. This one year open division is getting dumber as it pans out. look at the teams that will populate the “d1” brackets. 0-6 Iolani? 5-5 Leleihua?

  4. miguel October 14, 2016 9:33 am

    legend vs legend

  5. Petey October 14, 2016 10:01 am

    Very interesting list. Can you also put up the top current coaches or the top 20? It’s great to remember these past and current coaches. I remember Cal Chai at Kamehameha. How many years did he coach there?

  6. Jerry Campany October 14, 2016 10:42 am

    Chai was from 58-67 and 73-84

    Here are the 23 Oahu coaches with more than 100 wins while coaching an oahu team:
    Cal Lee 259
    Larry Ginoza 189
    Cal Chai 186
    Wendell Look 176
    John Velasco 163
    Hugh Yoshida 156
    Eddie Hamada 156
    Don Botelho 152
    Kale Ane 131
    Wendell Say 125
    Ticky Vasconcellos 123
    Masa Yonamine 120
    Alex Kane 117
    AL Espinda 113
    William Wise 113
    Darren Hernandez 110
    Randall Okimoto 109
    Skippa Diaz 108
    Dave Eldredge 103
    Siuaki Livai 102
    Harry Mitsui 101
    Joe Kahahawai 100

    Nelson Maeda is at 96 wins, followed by Tokuda (85), York (62), Amosa (54), Martinez (53) and Barit (39)

  7. Chloropicrin October 14, 2016 6:29 pm

    Iolani is down against St. Louis 0-33, but they’ll still qualify for states. 0-6 verses the top 3 teams, and they’ll still get in the D1 tourney over Kamehameha. Unreal…and I agree with someone below, have of Looks wins are against D2 caliber opponents, which should have an asterisk and D2 record).

  8. Chloropicrin October 14, 2016 6:33 pm

    Interesting to not that Harry Mitsui of Waianae coached only 9 years and compiled 101 wins, Siuaki Livai coached about 10 years won 102 times…the you have Hernandez and Say who coached 20+ years and got just over a 100. Haha.

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