HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Mililani’s Millwood steps down as Trojans’ football coach after 13 seasons
After a quarter-century of X's and O's, James Millwood is hanging up the clipboard.
Millwood, who spent 13 of his 25 years at Mililani as the varsity head football coach, resigned on Thursday. The Mililani graduate made the announcement to his team on Friday.
"Oh, there's no real reason. It's just time," said Millwood, who began coaching at his alma mater right out of high school. He is still a teacher at the school, but with four children between 6 and 14, priorities have changed.
"All that comes into account," he said. "Administration has been great. Things have been going well. We've been successful as a staff and program. I don't know if there's ever a good time, but it's something I talked about. No pressure from anyone."
Millwood credited his wife, Arlette, for her patience through the years.
"If there's anyone I want to thank, it's her," he said.
Millwood e-mailed some of his brothers in the coaching fraternity before making his decision public. One of them was Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez, who entered the coaching ranks in the same era with Millwood.
"He's been a big part of the success, the turnaround. I remember when they were in the Blue Conference, perennial Blue," said Hernandez, referring to the since-eliminated lowest division of OIA football. "But every year they got better and better, and now they're a powerhouse in the Red. It's a tribute to him. He's a great friend and great competitor."
The veteran coaching staff at Mililani has a very good chemistry, Millwood said.
"We haven't talked about it that much, but we'd like someone from my staff to take over," he said. "I hope we keep the guys who've been loyal to the program."
Millwood will now have more time to play the role of chauffeur for his kids, three of whom attend Kamehameha Schools. He'll also have more free time, particularly in the summer and fall.
"Since I graduated from high school. I haven't had a summer where I haven't thought about football," he said.
He'll miss the fraternity. Among those he e-mailed earlier in the week, besides Hernandez, were Wendell Say of Aiea, Fred Salanoa of Radford, Sean Saturnio of Waipahu and even former McKinley coach David Tanuvasa.
"Guys who I've coached against, no problems calling them to ask questions, or them calling me. Wendell called me right back," he said of his e-mail.
"I thought he was gonna e-mail me about some other stuff. He talked to me about it two years ago because his daughters are into softball and getting older. He didn't want to leave the burden with his wife," Say said. "He's a good friend and a good coach. Maybe now we can beat 'em."
Millwood relished coaching with some of his peers in the annual HUB Senior Bowl.
"That's the kind of stuff you'll miss. Friendships with the other coaches," he said.
His players will eventually get over the shock, and Mililani football will move on. One day, though, Millwood will probably get the itch to coach again.
"I've told him before, he can always have a job on my staff," Hernandez said, only half-kidding. "That's down the road. He's a good guy, good man. The OIA is gonna miss a guy like him."