WAIMEA — Former Menehune softball head coach Teddy Perreira hung up his spikes following this past Kauai Interscholastic Federation softball season.
Perreira spent the last 10 years at the helm. During that time, Waimea High School won six KIF championships and a Division II state title in 2012.
“Getting tired. It takes up a lot of time. It’s a lot of time I sacrifice. My grandkids are playing sports and I can’t even watch them play. It’s kind of hard,” Perreira said. “For a lot of old-time coaches, it’s a hard decision to make. I still like to coach, but I’m getting tired, too.”
Though he won’t be working from the dugout anymore, he said he’ll still be around as a spectator and support the team.
“I hope we get a good coach and keep the program going,” he said. “I’m always there if they need help.”
Waimea High alumna and current University of Hawaii softball player Ulu Matagiese said Perreira was “like a dad on the softball field” during her time with the Menehune team.
“He was a strict coach, but he also wanted us to have fun,” she said. “He pushed us to the boundaries because he wanted us to be better players. When we’d have tryouts for new girls on the team, he would take them under his wing. He didn’t give up. He kept pushing.”
Matagiese, who played four years varsity for Waimea until she graduated from the school in 2013, said a favorite memory was winning states.
“Outside of softball, hunting would be the most memorable thing I have with Uncle Teddy,” she added.
The Waimea High School athletic department is searching for Perreira’s replacement.
“Just (looking for) someone with experience. We’re just opening it up and seeing how much applicants we get for the position,” said Waimea athletic director Jon Kobayashi.
Though the job did take its toll, Perreira said what was most gratifying was seeing his players not only succeed at the high school level, but beyond that.
“Yeah, we get paid. But when you see the kids go play at the next level, that’s way better than a paycheck,” Perreira said. “I had girls from the first year I coached play college ball. And now, they stay with me coaching. They come back and they put in their time. That’s what I like about coaching.”
The former coach also acknowledged he wasn’t alone in helping the program thrive.
“I’d like to thank the community for supporting the girls,” he added. “Also, my wife. My wife did a lot for this program. She got to deal with me every day. I thank her a lot. And the booster club for getting fundraisers done so we can travel.”
Kobayashi is accepting applications for the vacant position. Those interested can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to apply is July 30.
“Coach Teddy coached for us for a while, did a great job and was successful in what he did,” Kobayashi said about Perreira. “Very grateful for the work he did for the ladies and in the community.”