How is Reggie Torres not still coach of Kahuku?
STAR-ADVERTISER FILE Former Kahuku football head coach Reggie Torres
celebrates a victory with his team.
They finally got him.
All those people who never wanted this good, humble man running their program — a person who also happened to be a winner — can be happy now.
Reggie Torres is no longer the head football coach at Kahuku High School.
And the prep sports scene in Hawaii is the worse for it. The Red Raiders don’t just lose a fine coach, we all lose the lasting impact of a leader who develops character and discipline in youth.
It’s not that Torres didn’t bring home the hardware, either.
But I guess three state championships in eight years isn’t enough. Or Torres hasn’t done enough lately; the Red Raiders finished 6-5 overall and 5-1 in conference in a rebuilding 2013 season.
Last I checked, those are still winning records.
As we’ve seen, standards are often ridiculous in sports. But it’s one thing when coaches of professional and college teams are unceremoniously dumped after one season that didn’t result in a championship. When it happens in the high school ranks for no apparent reason to a good coach and better person, practically on the heels of consecutive state titles? That’s just sad.
This move comes under the guise of a new principal wanting to move in a new direction. Well, no offense to the new leadership, of the school, or the team, but a direction other than the one Torres had Kahuku football moving could have the program lost in the woods.
As I wrote in 2011, when Torres was suspended indefinitely for an infraction not deeming such punishment, the deck has been stacked against him since he replaced Siuaki Livai in 2006.
Talk to 10 people on the North Shore and you’ll probably get at least five different names as to who should coach the Red Raiders. It’s been that way as long as I can remember, going back to before Doug Semones was the Kahuku head coach in the 1980s.
"The problem is no matter who they selected there’d be factions against him. It doesn’t matter," said a close observer of Hawaii high school sports. "Reggie might not be the world’s greatest X’s and O’s guy, but when it comes to that, you or I could coach Kahuku, they have so much talent. As for an overall package, you’re not going to get better."
When I talked to Torres at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, two hours after Jerry Campany broke the story, he’d yet to be notified by Kahuku and told officially that he was no longer the coach.
Although it’s the principal’s prerogative to make a change, Torres should have been told as soon as the decision was made, the second call, immediately after the new coach.
Of course he knew something might be up when the new principal put out a call for applicants. But he was never given a reason, was never told he wasn’t performing up to par.
Torres said he’d "like to know why," but isn’t bitter.
"I’m going to be the team’s No. 1 supporter as a fan," Torres said.
That’s just another example of his class. I’ll say it for him: There’s no real reason why Reggie Torres shouldn’t still be the coach.