Botelho follows in
father’s footsteps

The name Botelho is forever linked to Pac-Five football.

Don Botelho coached the Wolfpack from 1974 through 2002. This fall his son, Kip Botelho, begins his own legacy. But he is no stranger to the team comprised of players from small Interscholastic League of Honolulu schools.

Kip Botelho was a Pac-Five player or assistant coach for 25 years before being named the program's third varsity head coach Friday.

His appointment came after the surprise resignation of Joe Onosai, who held the spot for one season.

"I was shocked," Botelho said. "Joe did a really good job."

Onosai, who led the Wolfpack to a Prep Bowl victory as a player in 1982, steered the Pack to a 2-6-1 record in the ILH last fall. He said he is stepping down to devote more time to his ministry.

"I'll try to remain involved somehow, and I'm a strength trainer at Word of Life (one of the schools that provides players to Pac-Five)," Onosai said. "If I get a chance I will go up and help out (coaching) offensive line."

Botelho said his first goal is to visit the Pac-Five schools to meet with returning players and recruit some new ones.

"My first project is to go to all the schools and try to find out who wants to play. We lost a lot of kids, so our roster is pretty thin right now," he said.

Botelho, 41, was the offensive coordinator last year. He said he might install a wide-open offense, reminiscent of his father's schemes that helped the Wolfpack to two Prep Bowl wins in the 1980s.

"We try to gear ourselves around our personnel. Since we're usually on the smaller side we spread it out and throw. Last year we were on the bigger side so we ran it. I think we might wing it again this year," he said.

Botelho played defensive back and wide receiver for Pac-Five. He graduated from Mid-Pacific in 1980 and played at Merced College. He transferred to Hawaii with the intention of playing for the Rainbows, but injured a knee.

"In Kip's first year as an assistant (1982) we won the Prep Bowl," Don Botelho said. "He's been to the mountain and back."

Onosai said one of the reasons he stepped down was because Kip Botelho was available to replace him.

"He's qualified and paid his dues, shadowing his father 20-some odd years," Onosai said. "Last year as offensive coordinator he grew in many areas. I knew I wasn't leaving the program in a deficit, and I know it's a dream come true for Coach Botelho to see his son follow him."

Kip Botelho said plans that Mid-Pac announced last year to form its own team are on hold. The Owls don't have enough players to field a separate team, he said.


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