Waianae hires Mike Fanoga as football head coach

Mike Fanoga is the new football coach at Waianae, according to a post on the school's athletic Twitter page. The Seariders' Diesel Tuinei stretched to make a catch against Campbell last season. Jordan Fong / Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Mike Fanoga is the new football coach at Waianae High School, according to the school’s athletic twitter page: @SeariderSports.

The post reads, “Congratulations to coach Mike Fanoga, our new head football coach. Coach Fanoga comes to us with over 30 years of coaching experience. We’re excited to watch our athletes grow as he and his staff develop the program, always keeping the traditions of Searider football at heart.”

A call to Kekoa Kaluhiokalani on Monday to confirm the hiring was not immediately returned.

Fanoga has experience in the college ranks at Wyoming, Missouri Southern, Morgan State, Virginia Union.

Fanoga is taking over for Walter Young, who went 26-22 in four seasons with the Seariders, including a 1-8 mark last season.


  1. Matt Motter February 18, 2019 7:23 pm

    If this man can bring Waianae back to its glory days of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, it’ll be on par with anything Cal Lee has done. Waianae is Hawaii HS FB’s version of Nebraska football.

  2. M.T. February 18, 2019 11:23 pm

    Nah it won’t be.

  3. ??? February 19, 2019 8:05 am

    Sorry Matt,
    Waianae will never get back to those 60’s, 70’s, 80’s glory days as long as the ILH keeps taking West Side talent like DeForrest Buckner, Houston Ala & Many Many other great Waianae athletes !

  4. ILH February 19, 2019 8:53 am

    ???, the ILH did not take everyone from Waianae, 1or 2 players taken from Waianae or any other school should not make that much of a difference to a team.

  5. HI HS FAN February 19, 2019 10:50 am

    Waianae has made a decision to hire a coach with a lot of college coaching experience. His resume is pretty extensive as a defensive coach at both D1 & D2 colleges. Hopefully, he can turn around a once proud program and set the foundation on the defensive side of the ball. Waianae always had dominating defenses. If he can bring in an offensive coordinator that can utilize the talents they have in a positive way, Waianae will be a contender in a couple of years. Their youth football programs are sound. Hopefully, some of the talent stays home and not transfer to nearby public schools or picked up by the private schools.

  6. Bulla February 19, 2019 11:39 am

    Coach Fanoga is a good coach. He was also at New Mexico State University and recruited a lot of players from Hawaii until he departed. He is a disciplinarian and has a good head for inspiring players to be the best he can be. I hope the community gets behind him and supports him and his staff. Go Get’em Coach!

  7. Waianae FB Observer February 19, 2019 12:38 pm

    Success will be difficult to achieve if the AD and some of the meddling community members who think they know football, keep on meddling! Sad to see Coach Young treated the way he was; forced to have his Staff resign, forced to have his Ass’t’s approved by community, AD, had to play out his last season with his hands tied behind his back. Worse yet, he was one of their own, Alumnus, paid his dues being on staff in the program for many years. AD should stick to baseball. Good Luck to Fanoga, just gotta win and win quickly as many out on the Westside do not have patience as a virtue.

    Is one saying Houston Ala and DeForrest Bucker would not be an impact player for any program? Whaaaat? Hah? are you nuts? Waianae would have won a few more games with them on the team.

  8. ILH February 19, 2019 12:53 pm

    What a great GET for the school.

    Could someone help me out? Is he from Waianae or even the WEST side??

    Genuinely curious. Ive attended some of Coach Mikes sessions when he presented at clinics. Never thought he was from here.

  9. JeterIsBald February 19, 2019 2:46 pm

    Coach is from American Samoa but his wife is local. Their daughter went Punahou

  10. ILH February 19, 2019 3:49 pm

    Mahalo JIB!!!

    I wish him all the best this year and look forward to seeing them play next year.

  11. Choloropicrin February 19, 2019 10:02 pm

    He’s worked with Hal Mumme throughout the years, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of offense he installs at Waianae. Can you imagine Waianae with a pass first offense?

    The Waianae base is unreal and will probaly have unrealistic expectations living on past accomplishments. early objectives should include buy in from players as well as community, Creating and developing a culture. First goal should be reclaiming the OIA.

  12. Edwin February 20, 2019 6:32 am

    When waianae finds a dual treat QB. Thats when waianae will be great again. Look at waianae in the years of success they all had a QB that good run as well as pass. Maybe not the greastest passer but made the necessary pass when it needed to made. If coach fanoga can make that happen by bringing a Qb in. I can see it possible for waianae to throw the ball. Good luck coach fanoga. I hope he makes waianae great again.

  13. 87DROPOUT February 20, 2019 7:50 am

    Waianae offence needs good passing QB, with fast WR’s that can catch like in the late 70’s – early 80’s, also an O line that opens lanes for an unstoppable RB, and TE that has good hands. Defense needs fast CB’s that can catch/intercept, scary NG, and unstoppable LB with average everything else…that will give Waianae OIA CHAMPIONSHIPS back…but they gotta have HEART too!

  14. Bobby February 20, 2019 12:05 pm

    Was his most recent coaching job here on the islands ? Just curious with his transition from college to high school football. Anyway good luck with the program.

  15. ??? February 20, 2019 12:39 pm

    So you sat in a couple of Mike’s clinics and said he is a good get for Waianae but you don’t even know where he’s from or his coaching background? Did you not do your research or pay attention at the clinic you supposedly attended?
    Not hard to believe; coming from the guy who says recruiting doesn’t make a difference and Buckner & Ala wouldn’t hurt a team😂

  16. YoungBuck February 20, 2019 1:19 pm

    People still talking 70s,80s,and 90s football🥴.

  17. HI HS FAN February 20, 2019 1:23 pm

    Maybe this will be a blessing for Waianae football. Fanoga’s experience on the collegiate level will bring a fresh air and different type of culture to Waianae. Getting the boys to buy into his system and philosophy will be his first priority. However, the hurdle will be convincing the student body, parents, and community to trust in the process and let and his staff develop their system. Waianae football has a proud heritage and legacy in the OIA. Returning the program back to respectability and the high-level of competition that defines Waianae football will take some developmental time. Just support and believe in him, his staff, and the boys. Imua Waianae!

  18. Bill Walsh February 20, 2019 2:39 pm

    Need Dueling QB’s oh and for the ILH bro none of the Big private schools have starting players that live half a mile from the school RealTalk

  19. Coachpop February 20, 2019 5:32 pm

    Congratulations coach Mike Fanoga! May well be the most experienced College assistant coach in Hawaii nei based on D1and D2 tenures. Now Waianae HS Head Football Coach. Selection of quality staff is critical! Best of luck and skill brother Mike. Gotta transfer all that knowledge and experience to your staff and team, it comes down to what your coaches can teach and your players can grasp. Excited to see the new Waianae Seariders under coach Fanoga.

  20. Former OIA Insider February 21, 2019 7:56 am

    Good luck to the new coach. He’s going to have the hardest HS coaching job in the nation. He’ll be expected to revive a once great program, that has NO SIGNS of returning to greatness. Despite what people think there isn’t much talent and the current generation has poor work ethic, no pride, no commitment, and no heart. They want to be champions but are not willing to sacrifice and put in the work, they want it given to them. If Waianae was in “division 1” they would struggle to win half the games.

  21. BA February 21, 2019 2:58 pm

    Hard nose coach who focuses on the fundamentals. Seariders got a good one but will the team respond to his style? I think they will and they’ll have at least a .500 season next year. Congrats and good luck Coack Mike!

  22. Imua February 21, 2019 8:37 pm

    Why does anyone bring up ILH “recruiting” or taking kids away. Are we just gonna pretend like kids aren’t using their relatives address to go to bigger public schools like Kahuku, Farrington, Mililani, etc. Let’s get real with that lol. Regardless, it’s as if we all forgot that football is just a sport and EDUCATION is what high school is for. ILH schools like Punahou, Kamehameha, and St. Louis offer education, exposure, and college prep. Any parent would want their kid to go there. That isn’t to say that public schools cannot offer the same thing for those students to work for it, but, those schools come with prestige and a little extra push to go make life after sports successful.

  23. Kakaako February 21, 2019 9:52 pm

    Waianae will never win an open state title until it can recruit from all 5 major Hawaiian islands, hold Nike football camps at its campus furthering its appeal to attract elite players, offer $20,000 financial packages for most players and graduate their kids at 19yr old, like Tua Tagovailoa. Oooopps! did I just give away Cal Lee’s blueprint!

  24. KalihiFB February 22, 2019 4:08 pm

    Imagine. 2 seasons ago in the state open semi-finals, Waianae was a few defensive plays from beating Kahuku and reaching the finals. Hoping they can bounce back from last season and start becoming great again with the new coach. Good luck coach Mike Fanoga!

  25. ??? February 22, 2019 8:19 pm

    The TRUTH hurts!

  26. Alvin Takeshita February 25, 2019 6:26 am

    Congrats to Coach Fanoga. I played for him at the University of Kentucky in the late 90s. Hes a strict but fair man of GOD. Hes going to push boys to be men in all aspects of life, not just football as this game is ever so small in grand scheme of things. He’ll turn them around. Ill be rooting for Waianae except when they play my alma mater, WAIPAHU MARAUDERS.

  27. ILH February 25, 2019 9:43 am


    Still butthurt I see.

    Serial Victim. Turned a positive into a negative.

    On the contrary, I think recruiting makes a big difference. I think that the EDUCATION, experiences and relationships these recruits received while attending these private schools have led to successful productive lives, careers and families. Athletics were definitely a bonus. Dont you think?

  28. Josh March 4, 2019 8:25 pm

    As a coach for a number of years, lemme say this Waianae’s 9th and 10th graders are beasts. Unbelievable talent at that level. They have the ability to win it all.

    With this said, i would like to say that hiring the same coaching staff as last year is a monumental mistake. But most of these coaches from the mainland either poly or non-poly make the mistake of thinking that their coaching is sufficient enough to make changes alone. I’m afraid Waianae will suffer the similar consequences as the Warriors. For the kids’ sake, I hope i’m wrong. Good luck Seariders, I’m hoping for the best.

  29. Dolphins June 5, 2019 7:24 pm

    Is time to set a new foundation a

  30. Dean W Hoe August 9, 2019 10:50 pm

    Best Wishes to Coach Fanoga and the Seariders. Coach appears to have the depth of experience and knowledge to put Waianae back on the map.

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