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Reggie Torres leaves Kahuku, becomes co-athletic director at Kamehameha

Paul Honda July 12, 2021

Reggie Torres and Marites Pasol are part of the front-line crew of Kahuku's grab-and-go meal distribution program. Torres will join the staff at Kamehameha as a co-athletic director next week. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser.

There was a time, in the midst of championships for Kahuku football, wrestling and judo, when Reggie Torres never really imagined life without coaching.

Today, the longtime coach and glue guy for Kahuku on campus is a Kamehameha Warrior. Kamehameha hired Torres on Friday to become a co-athletic director. He joins longtime administrator Ed Paola on the administrative staff. One more co-AD position, recently created, remains open.

Torres, who was an educational assistant at Kahuku, will officially retire from the school in August. In the meantime, he is preparing for his first day at Kamehameha on July 19, when football season kicks off.

“Honestly, it’s like, I cannot believe it. I’m excited. This is just a great opportunity,” Torres said.

He spent the summer helping out coaches at Kahuku.

“We worked on EDDs (every day drills), helping new coaches. The kids knew that Kamehameha was a possibility for me, but it wasn’t a done deal until Friday. Now, it is for real,” Torres said.

Previously, he had applied for the Waialua AD position, which eventually went to Darnell Arceneaux.

“He was a longtime sub teacher, so he got the job rightfully so,” Torres said.

Rewind the clock, and Torres was an elite coach in three sports for a long time at Kahuku.

“I went back to school for this. That was my next step. If something pops up, I’ll jump into it,” he said of the process. “I wanted to get into that realm.”

Torres will also be joining Robert Hesia, Kamehameha’s director of campus athletics and human performance. Hesia oversses the athletic department. Like Torres, he is a Kahuku graduate — and a former state championship wrestling coach.

“He’s not going to sugarcoat anything. You want the honesty and constructive criticism. I like the ruggedness he brings to the program,” Torres said.

Just like that, after 36 years as a coach, mostly at Kahuku, The exception was a few seasons as an assistant coach at Punahou under Kale Ane. Torres will set aside the red shirts for navy blue.

“I’ve been in one place for so long, but if Punahou taught me anything, it’s who you’re working for. As long as we’re helping kids, it doesn’t matter. Kamehameha has a huge student body. That’s why I wanted to become an athletic director, to pass my experience as a coach on, to mentor new coaches,” he said. “As a mentor, you can guide them, but you can only do so much. You share advice, but they don’t have to take it. As an administrator, you can make it policy about certain language with kids, communication with kids and parents.”

For now, it is a new process.

“I want to get to know the coaches, how they run their programs and be there as someone they can talk to and get advice from. Be supportive, but at the same time, they’ll know where I’m coming from. In this first year, I’ll get used to the coaches and their styles, and try to be an asset rather than someone who’s hounding them,” Torres said.

It is another change for the grandfather of 10 and his wife, Lita.

“She’s excited. Shout out to her for all her support,” he said.

Some things may not change entirely for Torres, who lost two part-time jobs during the pandemic, but enjoyed his midnight shift working security at Kualoa Ranch.

“I’ll be on call if they need help,” he said. “And if I can fit it in my schedule.”

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