Ron Lee discusses his new role as head football coach at Saint Louis

Ron Lee and Cal Lee are changing coaching roles at Saint Louis. Photo by Dennis Oda/Star-Advertiser.

The Lee brothers are changing roles at Saint Louis School.

Longtime Crusaders head football coach Cal Lee is moving to defensive coordinator for the upcoming season.

His brother, Ron Lee, will become head coach, up from offensive coordinator. The two have long been a major part of the success of the Saint Louis program, beginning in the early 1980s.

“Cal wanted to give it up. He wanted more free time,” Ron Lee said via cellphone Tuesday morning. “There’s a lot of things he’s got to do. I’m going to help him with more of the administrative stuff. He’s still going to coach the defense and still be part of the program.”

Glenn Medeiros, the Saint Louis School president, is happy that the changeover won’t be anything drastic and that both men will still be in the fold.”

“We are extremely appreciative of everything Cal and Ron have done for our football program,” Medeiros said Tuesday morning. “Ron has communicated to me that he continues to have the fire to coach and would love to be the head coach of the Saint Louis Crusaders. It’s a great opportunity for Ron to be a head coach. Everybody knows he is amazing. He’s a perfectionist and a detailed person. The kids respect him a lot. This will be really a great thing for us.”

The Crusaders have won the last four Open Division state championships under Cal Lee, who just finished his sixth season in a row and 27th overall as head coach. During that time he is 296-41-5.

Ron Lee was a head coach at Kaiser for the Cougars’ first eight seasons as a varsity program from 1973 to 1980. He went 53-30-1 including an 11-0 season in 1979, capped off by a win in the Prep Bowl over Kamehameha.

“It’s going to take more of my time in the offseason,” Ron Lee said about being front and center as the head coach. “I’ll need to get more involved with the administrative stuff. Things Cal was doing. He doesn’t want to put in that much time. He loves coaching and being part of the school. All these great things are happening to our guys. He loves that, but he wants to spend more time with other things. He’s looking for a break.

“I have to help a little bit more. Close to 300 kids involved with football. We turn everything in to the athletic office and trainers, but they don’t follow up with all of the other stuff. Cal did that. This gives me more headaches. I used to worry about third down and long, now it’s other stuff.

“I was really more into the business side of things besides just coaching. Sometimes when you don’t have to do all that stuff Cal was doing, it was easier to be looser. I know a little bit about what he goes through. It took a lot for years, takes a lot of your time.

Ron Lee loves the shape the program is in, of course, and sees his new role as a challenge, too. One of those challenges will be to replace the starting quarterback and a potent corps of receivers who have graduated.

“Things are going so well,” he said. “The total program at Saint Louis, what these kids are moving on to, the opportunities they are getting, that’s what keeps us involved. Seeing them going off to college, coming back, that’s what is hard to give up. I like the administration, the faculty, it’s really a team atmosphere. That’s what I really enjoy.

“Enrollment is really on the rise. In fact, we’re almost on waiting-list status for a lot of the classes. That’s really a positive, considering what the private schools are going through right now.

“We have a big challenge next year, coaching-wise. Oh my goodness. We lost a lot of good players. This is a challenge for the coaches and the underclassmen coming up. So it’s going to be a fun year. With Cal on board, I can still coach the offense.”

Ron and Cal Lee’s mother, Hazel, died earlier this year.

“She went peacefully with her family by her side,” Ron Lee said. “We spent a lot of time staying with her. At least now that she passed, I have a little more time that I can put in.”

Lee said he would meet with the Saint Louis players for the first time sometime next week.

“It’ll be the same at practice,” he added. “Just got to organize our offseason conditioning. It’s not going to change much.”

Hawaii Prep World’s Nick Abramo contributed to this report.


  1. zazu February 18, 2020 12:18 pm

    Same system, nutn will change, St louis will still dominate. 5 peat here we come

  2. HailFromDaNorth February 18, 2020 1:00 pm

    He’s always been the brain that powered that program. He’s an offensive wizard! But now he gotta come down to the sideline instead of in the booth. As much as I love my red raiders, they really gotta make strides offensively with the program. When you got a program like Saint Louis who got great football players and has a good defense and offense. It’ll be hard to dethrone them. Kahuku, and mililani mirrors when comes to talent, but what the Lee brothers do with coaching. That’s the difference maker. Can’t wait for another season. #RR4L

  3. Da Troot February 18, 2020 8:03 pm

    Congrats to Coach Ron, dats one good guy! Any news on da open jobs? Moanalua, Kalaheo? Anyone when confirm da accuracy of Eselu at Moa going TE coach at San Diego State? Nuting on da SDST website. heard Moanalua admin told Eselu da mada Eselu no can be team mom, too much complaints on him and his mada. After there last game parent when come on da field fight him. Plenty Problems.

  4. ??? February 19, 2020 8:08 am

    Like I said in the past, This will just prove that Ron has always been the REAL coach that kept STL successful, not Cal…
    Can’t wait for HS football to start!!!!!!!

  5. Rasta MAN February 19, 2020 11:11 am

    First of all know your facts. Coach Cal is a defensive Wizard. He’s the reason why Saint Louis Defense flys around the ball and is very aggressive and was able to shut down Kahuku the years when Kahuku was blowing out everybody 50 -0 but when played the crusaders couldnt do a thing. Thats been coach Cals role from the get go. Ron Lee is the offensive side wizard. Put it this way, you may see the crusaders running the score up more with Ron Lee as the head coach. Coach Cal was too nice to remove the starters early which ruined it for the starters stats. But that shows , Coach Cal has class and respect for other schools. Regardless of the new roles, Saint Louis will still dominate. Rebuild, new qb, doesnt matter , its the system. Bye bye now

  6. 88 February 19, 2020 11:36 am

    @HailFromTheNorth- Don’t worry Kahuku High Administration has already put in place measures to ensure they never WIN a title again…

  7. ??? February 19, 2020 12:39 pm

    #5 @Rasta MAN
    It’s funny you should mention how much of a Defensive Wizard Cal is!
    Did you you see his Wizardry while he was Kalani’s DC?
    Did you see his Wizardry against St John Bosco or St Thomas Aquinas?
    KNOW YOUR facts, because it’s much easier coaching players that you can recruit to fit your system than coaching players that are in a certain district.

  8. William j. Butler February 19, 2020 11:03 pm

    Kahuku is coming back! It does’nt matter what st.louis or any other Hawai’i high school does! Kahuku just plays football, and plays it well, sometimes you gotta take what got and better it, it, and a little help from up above always bring a a a positive vibe to the north!

  9. Rasta Man Be Like AH These Haters February 20, 2020 8:00 am

    Kalani, now you talking like one little kid. Kalani is a very small school with very small kids, nick saban could go there and still wouldnt get the same results. Cmon Man. Bosco, was coach Cals first year back building back the program, Aquinas, is a top 3 national power house, crusaders played with them and had oppurtnities to win but didnt capitalize. You think Kahuku could play against those schools and keep a close game? Hell no. I believe Kahuku has only beaten coach Cal 3 times with coach Cal as a head coach. 2 of which was a nail biter. Its just haters on this thing that wish they could be apart of or be a crusader. Obviously when you win, people going hate, and thats the nature of it everywhere, at the high school level, college, and NFL. So just keep hating, and be a keyboard analyst that probably never played the game.

  10. CrusaderDad February 20, 2020 9:41 am

    @??? Hahaha…they say everyone is entitled to their own views. You might be the only person who doesn’t think Coach Cal is a Great/Legendary Defensive Coach…hehe..but that’s your view…smh

  11. HailFromDaNorth February 20, 2020 3:00 pm

    Sad, I been hearing stories. The talent out our side is un like any other. Our kids ain’t about all the flash and this and that. They were raised to be humble and work hard at what they do. These boys were raised by the 3 F’s (Faith, Family, and football) I hope we can overcome things. We gotta bring the pride back to the north shore.

  12. Wainakea February 21, 2020 4:25 am

    Kahuku’s best shot is smash mouth as they’ve always done. The best resource you have up north sure are linemen, and there’s really no other way to win then to utilize them. You’re not gonna have depth in receivers or qbs up there, so the only way to win is to ride a workhorse back and hope your secondaries are fast enough. Kahuku has done well with this formula time and time again. Carvalho finally gave up on trying to run a “balanced” offense last year when he didn’t have the players for it.

  13. Coach Lou February 21, 2020 8:17 am

    Since a stl.homey inserted kahuku, one thing, coach carvalho should have started Sauvao. In 2018 he had 1650 yards at qb. Adolpho, 550??? So Sauvao goes to Orange County and becomes an allstar. That’s not coaching right.

  14. ??? February 21, 2020 4:08 pm

    @ Rasta Man
    You just proved my point by saying Kalani is a small school with small kids. So you basically said Cal is NOT a wizard, cause a Wizard would make Kalani’s D
    Dominant regardless of size.
    Now you make excuses with Bosco & Aquinas. Lmao.
    Thank you!!!!

  15. ??? February 21, 2020 4:12 pm

    @ CrusaderDad
    Did you watch him as a DC at Kalani?
    Please explain your VIEW of his 10-10 record?

  16. Lose $$$ February 21, 2020 9:58 pm

    I Agree with @??? , If Cal Lee is da best Def coach eva he could have done better at Kalani. All coaches are great when they get to pick da best players with size, skill and talent. Look, Phil Jackson coached Jordan, then Kobe and Shaq, but why he neva come out of da GM office to coach da Knicks? Cuz, no more talent. Cal and St. Lou keep opening up da financial aid and picking da best kids, to make sure they have da talent. Hey look at da “Great” Miano, lol, he neva coach Hawaii Kai kids, he when bring dem in from outer Island and westside for a D2 championship lol, if he was dis great coach why not stay and coach da real eastside kids in da D1? Why Miano not come back to save his Alma Madda when they hit rock bottom? “great” coaches? Nah, talent made dem look great , lose money.

  17. ToGoodTimes February 22, 2020 2:34 am

    Did Kahuku, Mililani, Campbell, Waianae etc. have talent this past season? Or, great coaches? Or, both?

  18. ToGoodTimes February 22, 2020 11:26 am

    You can have great talent. But if you don’t have the coaches to mesh dem den lose $$$. No matta if they may be “stolen”. Or live in the district.

  19. ToGoodTimes February 22, 2020 11:38 am

    I’m beginning to see it’s not St. Louis that some hate. It’s not Ron. Or Vinnie. Or anything/anybody else. Is it for whatever reason Cal that you hate??? How come??? Did he not play you enough or something??? Do you personally know him???

  20. Deez Wiseman February 22, 2020 12:05 pm

    @ToGoodTimes, bradda, Lose $, is both right N wrong. He wrong cuz at least da Lee Bros when go to Kalani and try, they neva bring in 30 “stolen” players Like Miano. He’s right cuz Miano, Dat guy all for show, cheat to make himself look bedda, he not one “great” coach. So, Cal should get some credit for showing they can coach lower talent to play betta.

  21. ??? February 22, 2020 3:55 pm

    @ ToGoodTimes
    Nothing against Cal. Just saying it’s NOT difficult to win with ALL that talent he surrounds himself with.
    Like Miano winning at Kaiser with players from all over Island; not hard at all.
    you Basically saying if Miano was at STL he would the greatest HS coach in Hawaii. I disagree. FACTS!!

  22. ??? February 22, 2020 4:00 pm

    He is a good coach I never said he wasn’t.
    But If Cal was the GREATEST coach EVER like most of you say, he would have won multiple championships at Kalani; but he didn’t!!! So it’s easy for us that say he’s not the greatest.

  23. zazu February 24, 2020 12:39 pm


    anybody else thinks this guy is one clown? Like i said before, nick saban, bill belechick wouldnt even turn around the kalani program to win a D1 State title. Cmon man. But as far as if coach cal going to Farrington, Waianae, Kapolei, especially Kahuku, he would turn them into state champions. You one clown talking like like one little kid that no belong talking about football because you never been there or done that.

  24. ILH February 24, 2020 8:45 pm


  25. Michael Freitas February 25, 2020 7:32 am

    You ??? You no what you forgot kalani couldn’t even win a game they made the play offs hard to win a championship if all your players are donkeys or one player at kalani went to a d1 college look at kapolei how many players went to d1 colleges and they can’t even get to the playoffs so the bottom line you need your head examined get help you need it

  26. Michael Freitas February 25, 2020 7:34 am

    You ??? You no what you forgot kalani couldn’t even win a game they made the play offs hard to win a championship if all your players are donkeys or one player at kalani went to a d1 college look at kapolei how many players went to d1 colleges and they can’t even get to the playoffs so the bottom line you need your head examined get help you need it

  27. ??? February 25, 2020 2:27 pm

    @ Michael Freitas
    You just said Kalani had donkeys for players so they couldn’t win a championship! That’s the WHOLE point we talking about; it is way easier to win when you surround yourself with talented players ie…CAL.
    You should check your head cause you just agreed with my statement. LMAO

  28. Zazu February 26, 2020 9:08 am


    Like i said, clown type of person. Cal would take a team like Kapolei, Waianae, Kahuku, Mililani, Farrington to a state championship and win it. Coaching Coaching Coaching. Example is Kahuku, Kahuku has talented players across the board, My athlete vs your athlete, Kahuku wins that battle 90 % of the time. kahuku has no coaching whatsoever, they just win off raw talent, straight up.

  29. ??? February 26, 2020 2:11 pm

    You just named every school with choke talent! If Cal is your super hero coach he should be able to win championship at any school. Right?
    80% percent of Hawaii coaches would win with STL talent. You Da Real Clown.

  30. Zazu February 26, 2020 3:18 pm

    so if those other so called schools get choke talent, howcome they not winning state championships? Again , Coaching you clown. We talking reality here, not make believe fantasy football. You the realist clown on this thing. Enough replying to you, you brainless with no common sense. Everybody else , please dont respond to this clown, waste of time. He think coach cal can go waialua , kalaheo, kalani, and still win one state championship because he supposed to be a great coach lol. Donkey.

  31. ??? February 26, 2020 4:25 pm

    You the a$$ clown that agreed he’s The Greatest coach.

  32. ??? February 26, 2020 4:34 pm

    Begging people to not reply to me. Lol.
    Believe me they will all reply cause I speak facts.
    But you, Zazu the Babooz only live in private school fantasy land.
    One monkey can coach STL and be in the ILH top 2 every year. Facts. Facts. Facts.. Deal with it.

  33. Michael Freitas February 26, 2020 6:48 pm

    Bro look how many guys still Louis lost this only guys coming back 2 on defense and 3 on offense on paper punahou is the team to beat so when you say stuff think first and don’t respond by saying they got d1 players coming up if that’s your excuse name the players this year for st louis coaches got to coach not like the last two years

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