Saint Louis names football coach
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Former Saint Louis School and University of Hawaii quarterback John Hao was named the Crusaders' new head football coach yesterday, succeeding Delbert Tengan.
New athletic director Ulima Afoa - who accepted that job June 23 - said he selected Hao on Monday night from a final short list of "three or four" people. Afoa was part of the Hawaii coaching staff when Hao played his senior year at UH in 1996.
Hao, an assistant with the Crusaders for the past 11 years, said his intention is to retain anyone from Tengan's staff who wished to stay with the program.
"You know, it's big shoes to fill, yeah?" said Hao, 35. "We've got this season to see what we can do, and we've just gotta get it done. We've got smart, talented kids, and it should be a little easier for us because we're all part of the staff."
Saint Louis lost a heartbreaker to Leilehua, 20-16, in the HHSAA Division I state championship game last year.
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The work starts now for John Hao.
After being announced yesterday as Saint Louis School's new head football coach, the former receiver assistant wasted little time in plotting the foundation for the future of the Crusaders.
"We're gonna change some few things, (but) we're still gonna run what we run," Hao said of the team's flex option offense. "But defenses are going to see a few different stuff."
The 1991 Saint Louis graduate - who went on to play quarterback at the University of Hawaii - figures there are some surprises he can spring on foes in the upcoming season.
"Oh, put it this way: I've kept all the playbooks," Hao said with a laugh.
He was in the process of offering positions on his coaching staff to all of his fellow assistants under the departed Delbert Tengan, who resigned June 27. He said all that he had talked to agreed to stay on board.
Leilehua upset Saint Louis 20-16 on a comeback effort in the HHSAA Division I state championship game last year. Saint Louis last won the title in 2002 under Tengan.
New athletic director Ulima Afoa wanted to maintain some continuity in the program after losing his head football coach just three days after his official hire.
"This place has been pretty successful as far as winning the number of football games," Afoa said. "There are other aspects of the program we want to work on that we feel are reflective upon the whole educational process at Saint Louis.
"These aren't just games, but the life lessons we can learn from the game of football. Learn how to deal with success, learn how to deal with failures. Just little things you need to learn to be a positive part of society."
He felt that Hao could instill that in his student-athletes as one of the main criteria for the job.
"(John) is a good person who understands the educational process here at Saint Louis," Afoa said. "He understands that we want to continue to be consistent in our message of how we handle things on the field and in the classroom."
Hao coached the quarterback position at Saint Louis for seven years, then switched to receivers for the last four years. He doesn't feel any pressure in trying to maintain the level of success the Crusaders and their fans have become accustomed to in winning 14 Prep Bowls and two state championships in the last 25 years.
Instead, it's something to be savored.
"It's exciting. There's a lot of things we gotta do in a short amount of time," Hao said. "(Excellence) - that's what we've been coaching all these years. So I don't think there's much pressure. The staff, we've all been working for a few years now, so it's just like at home."