Darren Johnson was perfectly content.
Teaching football to little kids and taking 7-on-7 teams to mainland tournaments was enough for Johnson, a former head coach at Kailua and Kaimuki, to get his coaching fix.
He had no plans to return to coaching at the high school level. But when the job at Campbell opened up and fellow coaches encouraged him to take the job, Johnson decided it was time to give it one more run.
“It had to be the right fit,” Johnson said. “The kids in this area … You see there’s so much talent. It’s a place that is hungry for a championship and I’m hoping it’s something we can get done.”
He shared the 2001 OIA title at Kailua with Kahuku and led Kaimuki to the OIA Division II title in his first season 2007. Now, as he begins his 10th season overall as a head coach, he’s looking to do the same for the Sabers, who enter the 2017 season ranked No. 9 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser preseason top 10.
“We have a chance,” Johnson said. “I made it real clear that we’re not building for the future. We’re building for now.”
The Sabers are young and return just four starters on each side of the ball. What attracted Johnson to take this job more than anything was the amount of talent in the area, and despite his team’s youth and inexperience, he feels like the Sabers could be something special in 2017.
To read the full Campbell preview in today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, click here.