Waimea coach to be honored at March 15 celebration

Kobayashi finished career 76-18-1 at Waimea

WAIMEA – Tickets for a testimonial dinner honoring the accomplishments of Waimea High School football coach Jon Kobayashi are now available for the March 15 shindig.

Pupus will open the evening from 5 to 6 p.m. with dinner service commencing at 6 p.m. followed by the testimonial program.

Hugh Yoshida, former University of Hawai’i athletic director, will be the keynote speaker for the evening at Wong’s Restaurant in Hanapepe.

Kobayashi, who earlier announced his resignation as the Menehune football head coach after ten years, was himself a graduate of Waimea High School where he starred as a 4-year letterman as an offensive and defensive lineman.

Kobayashi was a KIF All-Star for 3 of his 4 years as a Menehune.

Moving on to Linfield College following his 1986 graduation, Kobayashi continued his gridiron saga by filling in a slot as an offensive lineman for four years, including his first year when Linfield was the NAIA Division II National Champions.

Kobayashi returned home to Menehuneland in 1991 as an assistant coach for varsity football for a year before taking the helm of the Big Blue in 1993.

His 10-year tenure earned the Menehune squad respect statewide by their 76-18-1 overall record with the KIF scorebooks recording a 58-2-1 standing with Kobayashi at the steering wheel.

Kobayashi achieved an unblemished record of ten KIF Championships and a Neighbor Island Championship during his coaching career, and brought the Menehune squad to the HHSAA State Semi-Finals three times.

Notable victories include wins over Punahou, Castle, Kailua, Radford, Leilehua, Waiakea, Lahainaluna, Hilo, Konawaena, and Hawai’i Prepatory Academy (HPA).

Kobayashi’s personal achievements include being the KIF Coach of the Year from 1993-2002, and the NIKE Hawai’i Clinic KIF Coach of the Year from 1993-2000.

In 1998, Kobayashi earned the Aloha Airlines No Hope in Dope KIF Coach of the Year in addition to his other accolades, and in 1999, earned the state Co-Coach of the Year honors as well as repeating as the Aloha Airlines No Hope in Dope KIF Coach of the Year for two more years until 2000.

Coach Jon, the son of the late Hajime Kobayashi, and Conchita, is married to Leila, has a son Braden and a brand new daughter.

Tickets for the celebratory evening are avaiable from Mel Nishihara (phone 335-3253), Allen Horikawa (phone 335-6432), and Tommy Rita (phone 338-6810, ext 170 days).

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