Homecoming: Cal Lee to join Ron at Kalani High

January 10th, 2012

No big surprise here. Since Cal Lee was not retained by Norm Chow on the University of Hawaii football coaching staff, he will join his brother, Ron, on the staff at Kalani High School.

Cal graduated from Kalani in 1964, where he was an all-ILH linebacker (yes, Kalani and the rest of the town public schools were in the ILH then).

Cal will be defensive coordinator. Ron enters his third year as offensive coordinator. Greg Taguchi is the head coach.

“I’m excited about working with the kids,” Cal said.

In 2010, Ron Lee’s first year on staff, Kalani won its first game after 57 losses. Last season Kalani continued to improve, finishing 3-5. Ron started his coaching career as a Kalani JV assistant in 1967. One of his colleagues there was Mike Chow, brother of Norm.

Thirty years ago, Ron and Cal constructed Kaiser High football from the ground into a Prep Bowl team, then went on to build an unprecedented dynasty at Saint Louis School.

It will be fun to watch what they do now at Kalani.

Here’s a story about Cal Lee when he stepped down as Saint Louis coach 10 years ago.

31 Responses to “Homecoming: Cal Lee to join Ron at Kalani High”

  1. rainbowfan:

    Happy for Cal and Ron. Geev’ um

  2. kev-1:

    I don’t know . . . I understand “coaching for the kids” and “for the love of the game” comments, but is there really no other opportunity for him? Am I the only one that wants to see him as a head coach somewhere? Anywhere? I guess he really wanted to stay in Hawaii. If I were a high school coach, I would demote my HC and hire Lee in an instant. Look at his record!

  3. kev-1:

    Is he volunteering his time like Ron is (was?)?

  4. nanakuli:

    Watch how many players GE to Kalani in the next few months. They will become the Waianae of the East. Nanakuli kids GE to Waianae and look at us.

  5. kev-1:

    Maybe once the Lee’s are actually running the show there. I wonder why they hold on to Toguchi. Hasn’t he been there through all of the losing?

  6. al:

    Greg taguchi is the head coach and plays a significant role at kalani make no mistake about it. he is a well respected educator and coach.

  7. Chicken Grease:

    Man . . . if no real good reason or a coming-of-”yeah, no worry, seriously, I unnastahnd, bruddah, for reals” ‘splanations from Norm Chow, if I were Cal Lee, I would be SO immensely (and, admittedly, a Grease wouldn’t KNOW how to commit the following as he’s had no cause to ever do so, seriously) habuts at my since-childhood “friend.”. I mean, honestly, c’mon, Chow, give your friend at leas’ one season chance, see how he fit in, no?

    But, yeah, gotta agree with some of youse here . . . going to coach high school football? And at the “I didn’t KNOW they had a football program” Kalani? This is like Michael QSeng (RIP) got bucked down the FM dial, hosting a jazz format in the morning. Like Olbermann over at Current TV (“‘Current what?” yeah, exactly!!!).

    Happy 2012. Thanks Dave R., by the way, for introduching some good topicks on your blog lately, li’dat.

  8. misterfudge:

    Cal and Ron at Kalani; GO FALCONS!!! Can’t wait to see the quality of football improve. I once asked a former OIA head coach why such a difference between Kalani and other schools with undersized players. Answer: Coaching

    Let’s see how true that is.

  9. kev-1:

    al . . . I don’t mean to disrespect Taguchi as a coach or an educator (especially an educator, I have a lot of respect for that). I don’t doubt that he is respected, etc. I write purely from a wins & losses perspective. Now, I understand it is only high school sports and you work with the athletes you are given, but they have struggled on the football field for a while now. That’s all I meant.

  10. Annoddah Dave:

    kev-1 and al: It is my understanding that head coaches must be DOE employees, that is a member of the staff at a school. Assistants do not. That is why Taguchi is a teacher and head coach, while the Lees’ are not either.

  11. Scott M:

    Good Luck Coach!

  12. kev-1:

    Annoddah Dave . . . thanks, I did not know that.

  13. puhi:

    Aloha, Kalani is a very small school. Most students are in band. They might have good coaches but the pool for players is very small. Like Kaiser, they probably only have 40 kids on the whole team. Kahuku has 40 kids who could be starters. ʻAs why haʻd.

    kden, brada puhi

  14. shaveicequeen:

    Go SAINTS…. uh, FALCONS! Good luck to Kalani High School. Coaches Ron and Cal are the best and I look forward to seeing huge accomplishments from your football team. Size don’t matter…. but skill does!!!!!

  15. 808crusader:

    Ho it would crazy if there was a dynasty at Kalani.

  16. fmr-falcon:

    It’s too bad the HC has to be an employee of the school, but I think GT will give them the reigns. I was coached under GT when Kalani had quite a bit of talent and the season still went down the tubes. he listened to an older coach with just dumb play calling and the guy, if he ever showed to practice, smelled of alcohol. We beat quality teams yet missed the playoffs. I believe the Lee brothers know how to win and I wish them the best but the fact remains the talent in the area go to private schools. Hope we get some District Excepts like stated earlier.

  17. jkjones:

    This is pure community service and folklore…. no question the Lee brothers will someday hoist a championship banner on the campus at the foot of the waialae ridge. Ironically, this is where Ron Lee started coaching under his former Saint Louis mentor–Al Wills, and the high school Cal Lee prepped, earning all-state honors. You couldnt have written a better script.

  18. jkjones:

    when the Lee brothers took over at Kaiser–they had never beaten Farrington. They weren’t on the same page. same deal–private schools drained all the district talent. The Lee’s started landing kids from Nalo, ILH drop-outs (Boyd Yap), instituted a football camp to launch pre-season practice and presto! They carried that winning infrastructure to SLHS following Kaiser’s championship year–and the legacy widened and rose to new heights.
    Remarkable in light of the fact that both Tommy and Cal did not initially meet success at Kalaepohaku.
    If they build the same template for the Falcons, like the field of dreams, the players will come.

  19. cocobean:

    Expect Kalani to have a rise in district exceptions and transfers using their relatives’ in district address.

  20. mattyt:

    cocobean you are wrong there, Kalani’s pop warner team is among the best on the island year in and year out. The Kahala, Kaimuki, and Aina Haina areas are home to some of the top athletes on the island, but they choose to attend St Louis, Iolani and Punahou instead. Expect to see many players on these teams transfer back to their “home” school.

  21. 2left:

    I have memories of Kalani’s winless seasons in the late 70s, which make the Von Appen UH teams look like a dynasty in comparison. I guess things were just as bad in the 2000s for Kalani. Even if they never win a division championship, it’s nice that the team has become good enough just to instill some school spirit.

  22. slenzi:

    Say what you will, Kalani and Kaiser have good character and lots of Ohana spirit. Win or Lose a great place to be a student athlete. Had to leave our friends at the bus stops and go all the way to St Louis.

  23. Blootie:

    Taguchi better start buying those volunteer coaches some Rainbows plate lunches daily…

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    I completely agree!

  28. NaAlii:

    If the Lee’s had coached Aiea this year Aiea wouldve made it deep into the pkayoffs. Aiea has talented kids but worthless coaches.

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