Leslie leaves behind a legacy

Lee Leslie's Kahuku adventure lasted just one year. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Krystle Marcellus
Lee Leslie’s Kahuku adventure lasted just one year. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Krystle Marcellus

Lee Leslie stepped down as Kahuku’s football coach after just one year on Thursday, but it was quite a successful year.

Leslie went 9-3 in his only season in Hawaii, joining these coaches among those since 1973 who won more than 66 percent of their games but lasted fewer than 25:

>> Waldemar Doane, Radford, 3-0: Doane took over the Rams when head coach John Velasco died during the playoffs in 1981, leading the team to a Prep Bowl title but not taking over the following year.

>> Walter Santiago, Kahuku, 3-0: Santiago took over the program for three games in the beginning of the 2010 season when Reggie Torres was suspended for misbehavior by players during a summer camp with the team. Torres took over in the fourth game and led the school to an unbeaten record.

>> Rich Miano, Kaiser, 20-4: Miano took over a 2-7 team from William Lobendahn in 2012 and led it to a 7-3 record before going 13-1 and winning the state title in 2013. He left shortly after that season was over.

>> John Hao, Saint Louis, 15-6: Hao took over for Delbert Tengan in 2008 and stayed through 2009, going 8-2 in his first year and 7-4 in his second before being let go in favor of Darnell Ancreneaux, who won a state title in 2010.

>> Mark Kurisu, Leilehua, 8-4: Kurisu stepped in for Nolan Tokuda in 2011, leading the Mules to a 10-2 record and a spot in the state semifinals. Tokuda returned the next season.

>> Doss Tannehill, Kamehameha, 8-4: Tannehill went 8-4 in 2005 after Kanani Souza took a leave of absence for a graduate assistant position at Oregon State following a 10-1 season. Souza returned the next year and went 8-3.

So who is next at Kahuku? That is a long way off. Leslie told administration he supports Ma’ake Kemoeatu for the job, but Reggie Torres is never far away. Byron Beatty? Tommy Heffernan? Or it might be another unknown name. Spring football begins on May 20.

Here are Kahuku football coaches since 1973:

2014 Lee Leslie, 9-3
2013 Reggie Torres, 6-5
2012 Reggie Torres, 12-0
2011 Reggie Torres, 12-1
2010 Reggie Torres, 10-0
2010 Walter Santiago, 3-0
2009 Reggie Torres, 12-1
2008 Reggie Torres, 10-2
2007 Reggie Torres, 6-3
2006 Reggie Torres, 11-2
2005 Siuaki Livai, 11-1
2004 Siuaki Livai, 10-2
2003 Siuaki Livai, 14-0
2002 Siuaki Livai, 6-3
2001 Siuaki Livai, 14-0
2000 Siuaki Livai, 13-2
1999 Siuaki Livai, 12-2
1998 Siuaki Livai, 12-1
1997 Siuaki Livai, 8-3
1996 Siuaki Livai, 2-5
1995 Doug Semones, 8-1-2
1994 Doug Semones, 11-1
1993 Doug Semones, 10-2
1992 Doug Semones, 9-2
1991 Doug Semones, 9-2
1990 Doug Semones, 10-2
1989 Doug Semones, 10-3
1988 Gordon Miyashiro, 3-7
1987 Lester Souza, 7-1-1
1986 Lester Souza, 10-2
1985 Lester Souza, 3-6-1
1984 Clarence Lavarias, 7-5
1983 Clarence Lavarias, 6-4-1
1982 Clarence Lavarias, 9-3
1981 Clarence Lavarias, 5-4-1
1980 Chuck Mead, 7-2
1979 Chuck Mead, 3-6-1
1978 Chuck Mead, 10-1
1977 Chuck Mead, 6-3
1976 Chuck Mead, 6-4
1975 Eli Keolanui, 4-5
1974 Eli Keolanui, 8-2
1973 Famika Anae, 6-5


  1. bouncingball March 19, 2015 8:09 pm

    Bailing out within a year is now considered “leaving a legacy”?

  2. Realist March 19, 2015 9:40 pm

    What a misleading headline. Opened up to look at some of the highlights of coach’s time, but all I see are comparisons.

    Anyhow, Lee deserves more credit for the job he did. Seems like whoever was the driving force behind his hire suckered him into thinking it could work out financially. While majority of the people want to fault the coach for leaving for his family, gotta look at the admin first, the ones who made all the coaches have to reapply in the first place. Like UH, it doesn’t matter who’s coaching if the higher ups don’t have their shizz together.

  3. Paper Crane March 21, 2015 1:41 am

    Yeh right, all the talk about leaving to be with his family is his choice and being away for only
    1 year sure was lesson learnt;…like no better place then Red Raiders nation to understand what true family is all about yet by some comments doesn’t read as such? Eh like reason be
    that he left and from Utah he made that call to resign;…besides being with family,..Leslie must have had an offer that included being close to his family and still coach football and like the offer outweighed what Kahuku Red Raiders family offered and supported him with in the past year; Now that there was Leslie’s significant 1 year coaching mission,..like he did it well too and who knows after all that he maybe in great demand back in Utah;…so we always talk about close family connection at Kahuku,..like most of us say it or is it a choice of how and when w say it;…enjoy…later kay?

  4. posterized09 March 21, 2015 8:55 am

    By the way he’s from IDAHO. And yeah, what LEGACY? One year at 9-3 is not a legacy.

  5. Paper Crane March 21, 2015 12:53 pm

    Yep, he,..he, “LEGACY” is a long word for a short time yet point the finger at Jerry Campany like it’s his title semantics and like he wrote this article,..no one else,…enjoy kay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.