Tengan considering return
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Former Saint Louis football and basketball coach Delbert Tengan is considering a return to coaching this season.
Stepped down as basketball and football head coach at Saint Louis
Tengan, who stepped down as the Crusaders' head football and basketball coach last month, told the Honolulu Quarterback Club yesterday that he has received calls about possibly coaching again this season and is considering a return to the sideline at another school.
"I've grown up from a little kid to now being involved in athletics," he said. "It's been a great ride and hopefully I have something to offer to a program."
Tengan had coached the Saint Louis basketball team the last nine years and the football team for five, reaching the state title game the last two seasons. He resigned both posts, but has signed on to remain at the school as a physical education teacher.
If he doesn't coach this season, he said he could go into broadcasting as a color commentator for high school events.
"I won't be totally detached from sports," he said.
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Delbert Tengan resigned his dual coaching positions at Saint Louis last month, but could be back on a sideline as soon as this fall.
Since stepping down, Tengan said, he has received calls gauging his interest in coaching and is considering a return to basketball or football this season.
"That's kind of the debate, if I'm going to rest this season or jump back into it," Tengan said after speaking at yesterday's Honolulu Quarterback Club meeting. "Some people have called me and asked if I'd be interested in coaching this coming season. The door is open, it's a possibility."
Tengan served as head coach of the Saint Louis basketball team for the past nine years and led the football program for five of the last six seasons.
Tengan said if he chooses to coach football again this season, it would be as an assistant.
"Basketball is more of a possibility of a head coaching position," he said, though he didn't specify which schools might be in the running. He said he would coach only one sport after coaching two sports at Saint Louis.
With the school year approaching, Tengan said he'll make a decision fairly soon. If he sits out this season, he said broadcasting might be in his future. He worked as a color commentator for high school radio broadcasts in 2003, when he sat out the football season.
"There's so many factors in coaching and everything, it's hard for me to say what would be the deciding factor," he said of choosing another coaching job. "Number one, is the people you work for and the support structure."
Tengan has been associated with Saint Louis for the last 25 years and has a contract to remain at the school as a physical education teacher.
Prior to succeeding Cal Lee as head football coach in 2002, Tengan worked his way up as an assistant in the program for 14 years. The Crusaders won the state championship his first season and went undefeated in Interscholastic League of Honolulu play his last two seasons, going 22-2 overall. Both losses came in the Division I state final, to Kahuku in 2006 and Leilehua last November.
The Crusader basketball team won one ILH title and reached the state title game twice in his tenure.
After a quarter-century at Saint Louis, Tengan said possibly coaching at another school would be a strange feeling and didn't want to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding his coaching resignation at Saint Louis.
"It's just a decision I felt I needed to make," he said.
Tengan reflected on his tenure at Saint Louis in addressing the Quarterback Club at its weekly meeting.
"My coaching career at Saint Louis has come to an end, but I feel there will be other doors opening in the future to pursue coaching," he said. "I feel like I'm blessed to have a coaching career like I've had to this point. ... There's a lot of people who coach a lifetime and did not get the experiences I've been fortunate enough to have."
It's been nearly seven years, and Kevin Lempa still remembers the play call.
"Sam lightning," the former Hawaii defensive coordinator rattled off when asked about the pivotal play in UH's dramatic win over Fresno State in 2001. A blitzing Nate Jackson forced a David Carr fumble to set up the decisive score in the Warriors' 38-34 victory.
Lempa, in town on vacation, revisited some of his UH memories in visiting the Quarterback Club. His daughter still lives here and Lempa is in Hawaii for a week of leisure before resuming his duties as secondary coach at Maryland.
"I'm not recruiting (this week) ... but I wish I was," he told the group in praise of the local talent base, particularly defensive linemen.
Lempa is entering his second year with the Terrapins after a four-year stint at Boston College that followed his three years at UH. He said expectations are high for a senior-laden Maryland team and called head coach Ralph Friedgen the toughest coach he's worked for.
"He's tough but fair," he said.