Simon Bitanga is back in charge of the Kaiser girls basketball team.
Bitanga is being investigated for alleged wrongdoing by the Department of Education. According to Lindsay Chambers, a DOE spokesperson, the investigation is in its final stage.
“The status for Coach Bitanga has been moved from ‘temporary release as head girls basketball coach’ to ‘head coach, girls basketball,’ ” Chambers wrote in an email to Hawaii Prep World.
Bitanga did not return either a phone call or an email requesting comment. Kaiser principal Justin Mew declined to be interviewed about the matter.
Bitanga was suspended in late Decmember and Noah Keolanui took over the head coaching duties on an interim basis.
The DOE never disclosed the reason for Bitanga’s temporary release. According to sources close to the situation, Wendy Kau and Nicole Isa-Ijima of the DOE’s Civil Rights Compliance Office were handling what is believed to be a two-pronged probe.
The Cougars are 6-2 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association East. One of the losses, to Kalaheo, was by forfeit.