Bitanga returns as head coach at Kaiser

Simon Bitanga is back in charge of the Kaiser girls basketball team.

Simon Bitanga is back coaching the Kaiser girls basketball team. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Simon Bitanga is back coaching the Kaiser girls basketball team. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

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.


  1. Action Jackson January 21, 2016 7:50 pm

    Great coach, and a great basketball player. Some guys can coach but they can’t ball, Coach B could ball! Go Cougs!

  2. NotNasti January 22, 2016 9:31 am

    Coach Simon is rough around the edges, BUT he is a great coach and has the biggest heart. He coaches out of his love for the game, kids and his school. Welcome back coach!

  3. Action Jackson January 22, 2016 1:46 pm

    Coach Simon is a legend! He’s one of the Kaiser “originals” back when Fukushima was the AD there. Back when HK was a kick back cruise area. Back when the Kuliouou boys would keep the school safe. Hawaii Kai bar none was the best place to raise your kids without any troubles.

  4. SMH January 23, 2016 8:13 am

    This guy is a bad coach. It’s sad if you stick up for this jerk. He should have been let go a long time ago. To bad the AD at Kasier is a snake himself. This so-called coach, along with his assistants took it personal against his players. For parents to look the other way like they did is a joke. Coaches are just teachers, don’t let them control you or your child. If he tried what he did to my child like he has been and will continue to so behind door. I would lay him out. So parents and admin are just to weak and sad too because you should be able to stick up for your child when they are being bullied by a joke of a caoch. THIS WILL LEAD TO BAD KARMA FOR KAISER.

  5. Surfrider January 23, 2016 9:35 am

    I was told he uses the Kaiser HS Gym to run his Eastsiderz Leagues. I wonder if the AD is charring him the full rate that all non-DOE sponsored teams are supposed to be paying. I highly doubt he is paying the full $125-$150/hour. If not, that is against the law. The DOE superintendent clearly told all admin that all non DOE sanctioned use of the gym is supposed to pay the full rate.

  6. Action Jackson January 24, 2016 1:14 pm

    Coach Simon is the most professional bruddah around. He bleeds blue and gold and does whats morally correct for Kaiser Athletics. Any alumni you talk to @ the school knows this.
    We don’t wanna be talking “laying out” in a casual manner. You ever heard of Bruce Perry, Doug Paahao, Derek Costa, Kekoa and Keola Sua, Blaine Kahikimaka and company?
    Anyway, these guys have kept Kaiser a safe place from the late 70s ’til this day. Their kids attend attended or will attend Kaiser.
    For someone to downgrade coach Simon’s uniqueness as a coach and human being is utterly selfish. Do you actually know coach Simon’s history and positive attributes to the community dating back to the 80s?

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