Siuaki Livai is one of the most successful high school football coaches in Hawaii history and he’s been keeping a low profile.
The former Kahuku head coach, however, has been popping up on the scene recently, helping the St. Francis Saints.
“He’s come a couple of times a week for the last few weeks,” said St. Francis head coach Kip Akana, whose Saints finished their Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II regular season at 2-2. “He has strong ties to the Tongan community and we have some Tongan players. He’s an uncle to some of them and real close with all of their families.
“Siuaki comes on the field and helps with practice, gives some X’s and O’s and meets with the coaches after practice. He unselfishly gives of himself and he’s really helpful. He’s helped to settle down the staff by giving simple pointers to us about some things that weren’t so obvious to us.”
St. Francis (4-4 overall) is awaiting the result of Saturday’s Damien (5-1, 2-1) vs. Pac-Five (3-2, 1-2) ILH D-II regular-season finale. The Monarchs can clinch the league championship with a win. But, if the Wolfpack win, all three teams will enter a two-game playoff to determine the title winner.
The Saints are on a two-game winning streak, having beaten their two rivals after losing to them earlier in the season.
“If there’s a playoff, I like our chances,” Akana said earlier this week.
Livai led the Red Raiders to four state Division I championships — in 2000, ’01, ’03 and ’05, before Reggie Torres took over and coached Kahuku to state crowns in ’06, ’11 and ’12.
Is a comeback in Livai’s future?
“He told me he’s trying to avoid catching the football bug again,” Akana said.
Kiddingly, Akana added, “He’s almost there.”