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Harold Silva, former Iolani, Kahuku coach (1923-2003)

Harold Silva coached two league football championships at Kahuku High in the 1950s, but his biggest impression was left on those whom he coached and taught.

Silva, who also coached football at Iolani School, died Aug. 18 at Maui Memorial Hospital. He was 80.

"I think about him all the time," said Leo Reed, who played for Silva's first championship team in 1956. "They don't make coaches like Harold Silva anymore. He cared about his players, not like when you go up to college, where it's like a meat factory. He cared about each player."

After graduating with a teaching degree in 1950 from the University of Hawai'i, where he was a tackle on the football team for coach Tommy Kaulukukui, he taught at Iolani School. He was appointed football coach several games into the 1952 season to fill in for the legendary Rev. Kenneth A. Bray, who became ill and retired from coaching. Silva would coach Iolani through the 1955 season, compiling a 17-17-4 record.

In 1956, he transferred to Kahuku. It didn't take long for him to make a difference. He guided the Red Raiders to the Rural O'ahu Interscholastic Association title that year. The season before, Kahuku was 1-9. He also led it to the 1959 title. He coached at Kahuku through 1962, compiling a 43-23-2 record in his seven seasons.

Reed, head of the Teamsters motion pictures division in Hollywood, said Silva was a disciplinarian.

"He was a perfectionist," Reed said. "Everything was 100 percent. Even when we broke the huddle, we sprinted to the line."

Silva also left an impression on the North Shore's youth. Junior Ah You, a 1968 graduate of Kahuku, used to watch Silva conduct Red Raiders practices when he was in grade school.

"As a young kid watching practice, I was in awe," Ah You recalled. "He also was my history teacher. He had a tremendous influence on my life. The way he coached, he was like a general on the football field."

Silva later became athletic director before becoming a counselor at McKinley from 1966 to 1975. He went on to be a counselor at Niu Valley Intermediate and later at Kaimuki Intermediate before retiring in 1980, serving 23 years and nine months in the Department of Education.

Silva was born in Wai'anae, where he attended elementary and intermediate schools before attending Saint Louis College. He was drafted into the Army and served in Europe during World War II.

Silva is survived by his wife, Betty; son Harold; and brothers, Adrian and Albert.

Services will be held at the Diamond Head Mortuary from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 28.

#LeoReed #JuniorAhYou

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