Trojan track and field coaches step down
The head coaches of Mililani High School's highly successful track and field teams are passing the batons
The head coaches of Mililani High School's highly successful track and field teams are passing the batons.
Girls coach Dane Matsunaga and boys coach Marshall Ochi cite family reasons for stepping down, less than a month after leading the Trojans to the Oahu Interscholastic Association championships.
Matsunaga, 34, was Mililani girls head coach for six seasons and an assistant for one. The Trojans won the OIA title four times in that span, including the last three championships. They were third in the Island Movers state championship meet two weeks ago, with senior Britney Stephens winning the 100 and 200 meters. In 2003, Mililani was second in the state.
"I'm going to take a total break," said Matsunaga, a 1990 Mililani graduate. "I just got married two years ago and I want to spend more time with my wife."
Ochi, 30, was boys head coach just one season, and the Trojans were fourth in the state meet after winning the OIA championship, behind star hurdler D'Andre Benjamin.
"For me, there are some schedule conflicts at Pali Momi, where I'm a CAT scan technician. Plus I'm getting married this summer," Ochi said. "Track is a really, really large time commitment, especially for a newlywed. I'll still be around, probably one or two days a week."
Ochi said Chad Miyamoto, a Mililani assistant who was head coach when the boys won the OIA title in 2005, is also scaling back.
"I think the teams will be OK, because Mililani has a strong tradition of alumni coming back to help the programs," Matsunaga said. "Also we get a lot of support from the school administration."
Mililani athletic director Glenn Nitta said the school is also looking for new coaches in girls basketball and water polo. Scott DeSilva and Barack Kanealii are also not returning.