New Kamehameha football coach Stant is a real blue blood
DAVID Stant Jr. is eminently qualified to be the next Kamehameha football coach. A former UH player, he's been a GM/head coach in the Japanese corporate pro league (which his old coach, Bob Wagner, says is probably equivalent to a college job) for several years. If anything, he's overqualified.
Just one problem.
"I told the players here, I do not speak English," Stant said.
That line drew laughs, at the Honolulu Quarterback Club this week. He was kidding.
"It's been a long time since I had a team meeting in English. I always conduct my team meetings in Japanese," Stant said.
"Speaking to the players I sometimes stutter. Because in Japanese it comes out really fluent, and in English it's 'Aaaghaaaah ...' "
He said his team laughed just as hard, the other day, when its new coach stumbled over a really tough word -- "Damien."
Somehow I have a feeling he'll adjust back just fine.
HE'S BEEN AT Kamehameha a little over two weeks now, and already he realizes that the phone rings off the hook. Most are encouraging. A few wondering if he's the right guy.
But Stant is a big believer in timing. After graduating from Kahuku, he had a Mormon mission and attended junior college in Arizona. By the time he walked on at UH, it was several seasons down the line.
But also, Al Noga and a few other talented defensive linemen were just leaving. Had he arrived with his original class, Stant said, he never would have played.
Instead, he was eminently tough, the right man at the right time.
Now, Kamehameha. Whenever he came home from Japan, Stant would touch base with certain people. Kanani Souza was one. He called the school, "Can I speak to the head coach?"
"We don't have a head coach right now."
IT SEEMS STRANGE that a Kahuku guy would become Kamehameha's coach. Stant sounds like he wonders if they didn't put him through an extra round of interviews just to make sure.
But he's all in now. The transformation is complete.
"As you know, the guys at Kahuku say when you cut yourself the color of your blood is red. I've got to think of another slogan for Kamehameha," Stant said.
That is a tough one. Because, you know, your blood is red. Everybody knows that.
But he's been thinking about it. Try this: "The blood that pumps from your heart is blue."
(Is it? Doctors? People who watch "The Discovery Channel"?)
In any language, this guy sounds pretty good.