Moanalua hires Vince Nihipali as football head coach

Vince Nihipali is the new Moanalua football head coach, Na Menehune athletic director Joel Kawachi said Tuesday.


Nihipali was Mililani’s defensive coordinator under Rod York for three seasons and was a defensive coordinator for Campbell before that.

Nihipali takes over for the outgoing Savaii Eselu, who was hired as the tight ends coach at San Diego State.

Moanalua went 10-2 last season and won its first OIA Division I title, edging Leilehua 21-20 in double overtime for the championship. Na Menehune lost to eventual finalist ‘Iolani in the state tournament. Eselu went 27-16 in four seasons as head coach of Na Menehune.

Mililani’s York, even though he now has to figure out who among his deep staff will fill into the DC slot, was glad Nihipali landed his first head coaching job.

“Vince is a student of the game,” York said Tuesday afternoon. “He knows how to dissect films and schemes. He does his homework very well. It’s a different beast being the head coach because you’ve got a lot more duties you gotta attend to. But he runs a successful drywall business and this is not his first rodeo. He’s very experienced.”

Nihipali played high school football for Kamehameha, graduating in 1990.

This story will be updated.


  1. ILoveHawaii March 10, 2020 4:02 pm

    Wow. Great catch for the Mene’s.

    Great defensive mind and the kids love him.
    Good luck coach..

    Oh yeah, and he lasted that long with the Mills HC should be recognized.
    Maybe one day he will return to the HILL to help his alma mater because they need it.

  2. Tru Blue March 10, 2020 4:45 pm

    Whats his resume? DC at Millz? What else? Not exactly a ringing endorsement from York, he knows how to break down film and study, runs a successful drywall business. Lol . Like York said, HC is a different beast. Hope he knows not the same atletes at MOHS, But as one former playa, welcome, we will support the SHOW show us what you got.

  3. Trustno1 March 10, 2020 6:23 pm

    Tru Blue- Though he had the title as the DC, Coach York was the HC/OC and DC. Btw the staff isn’t deep. Its coach York, Maa Tanuvasa and Still Malepeai and Tito Sallas. The rest of the coaches are just bodies standing around acting like they know what they doing and repeating what Coach York says. Best move for Coach Vince!VInce will do good at Moanalua! Good luck this coming season! 808vsEverybody!

  4. Laie Park March 10, 2020 6:37 pm

    TrustNo1 knows the real story lol hopefully Coach Nihipali can bring in a OC and take back some of Mililani transfers! Lol

  5. HangUmUp March 10, 2020 11:01 pm

    Take back? None of the transfers from Moanalua lol they not taking nothing back

  6. RealTalk808 March 11, 2020 5:02 am

    Heard nothing, but good things for Coach Nihipali, but I heard that he had the title as DC, but couldn’t do a lot of stuff he wanted because of the head huncho York! It’s crazy how the parents allow their kids to be coached by this guy. Even the coaches, it’s crazy how people coach with him. It’s is what it is, but good luck to coach Nihipali hopefully he can keep that winning ways they got back on to when coach Eselu was bringing back.

  7. Houma1 March 11, 2020 9:02 pm

    @trustno1 sounds like you one of the coaches that didnt make the cut at mills as a coach.

  8. Trustno1 March 12, 2020 7:02 am

    @Houma- Lol! You must be one of the coaches I was referring too! Don’t be mad because it’s the truth. Know your worth! I’m just Very observant. 808vsEverybody! Btw, Trustno1!

  9. Dee March 12, 2020 9:34 pm

    Division 1 still under open division succeed what the only succeed because they were in division 1 gaurentee if they played in the open they would of got smashed smh 🤦‍♀️ Good luck new coach i hope u ready for the parents and staff of moanalua 😂

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