Tanuvasa steps down
as McKinley coach

Star-Bulletin staff

David Tanuvasa has stepped down as head football coach at McKinley High School, the school announced yesterday.

Tanuvasa coached at McKinley for 10 years and cited "personal and professional obligations" as his primary reasons for relinquishing head-coaching duties.

"There are things I've been procrastinating on for a while and there comes a time where that needs to be taken care of," Tanuvasa said.

"There's no right time to leave, you just have to do what you have to do and move on from there."

Tanuvasa will remain a teacher in the outreach program at McKinley and plans to take classes in hopes of moving up the teaching ladder.

Tanuvasa led the Tigers to a 9-5 record and their first state tournament appearance this season. McKinley finished third in the Oahu Interscholastic Association playoffs and advanced to the state semifinals before losing to Castle in triple-overtime.

Tanuvasa won't leave the cupboard bare for his successor as the Tigers return several starters, including all-state defensive lineman Randy Faletoi and quarterback Abel Werner, the Gatorade State Player of the Year.

"There's a good group of kids returning," Tanuvasa said. "I wanted to leave while the program was still on the rise. You never want to leave if things aren't going well and let somebody else take over a problem."

Tanuvasa, a 1984 McKinley graduate, said he would consider a return to coaching down the road.

Tanuvasa is the fourth OIA football coach to step down since the end of the season. Jose Guevara (Moanalua), Donald Capello (Waialua) and Kelly Sur (Radford) also announced they would not return for the 2003 season.

The McKinley athletic department is accepting applications for the head coaching position. Resumes should be sent to athletic director Neal Takamori, McKinley High School, 1039 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96814. The deadline to apply is Feb. 14.

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