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Cal Lee returning to coach Saint Louis football

By Dave Reardon

LAST UPDATED: 11:53 p.m. HST, Feb 03, 2014

Cal Lee is returning as coach at Saint Louis School, the post where he engineered the longest dynasty in state high school football history.

Lee will also be a post-grad counselor at the all-boys' Catholic school. An official announcement from the school is expected Tuesday, but Lee finalized details with administration officials this afternoon and is expected to start work immediately.

Lee replaces Matt Wright, who was fired in December after two seasons. Saint Louis finished 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the ILH last season, with the two losses coming against fellow Interscholastic League of Honolulu  rivals Kamehameha and Punahou. The Crusaders last won the state championship in 2010.

Lee excited about return to Saint Louis

Lee, 67, is the winningest high school football coach in state history at 241-32-5, all at Saint Louis where he was previously head coach in 1971 and 1982 to 2001. He returns to where his teams won 14 consecutive Prep Bowl and state championships. Lee also won 55 consecutive games from 1985 to 1990. He is leaving his alma mater, Kalani, where he has been defensive coordinator the past two seasons.

"I want to thank Saint Louis and I am truly humbled and grateful for this opportunity," Lee said, in a text to the Star-Advertiser. "The first order of business will be putting together a staff and meeting with the players. Although I'm sad to leave Kalani, I'm excited to be going back to another home, the place that gave me my start in coaching."

Lee's brother, Ron, will join him at Saint Louis as offensive coordinator. Ron Lee has been the OC at Kalani since 2010 and also held that post at the University of Hawaii and Saint Louis, and was head coach at Kaiser.

After leaving Saint Louis in 2001, Cal Lee was head coach of the AFL2 Hawaiian Islanders and linebackers coach and defensive coordinator at UH. He was among the assistant coaches not retained when head coach Norm Chow took over at UH in 2012.

In 2000, Lee was named football coach of the year by the National Federation of State High School Associations. He received a similar honor from The Sporting News in 1995. "Cal is to be credited for bringing Hawaii high school football to national prominence," Keith Amemiya, then executive director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, said in 2001. "He is respected by by his peers because his teams are always well prepared."

The dynasty at Saint Louis included some controversy, including players drinking and damaging hotel rooms after a game in Las Vegas, and ILH teams electing to forfeit rather than play the Crusaders because of competitive imbalance and criticism for what some considered an over emphasis on football at the school.

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lowtone123 wrote:
Lee will have to battle with Punahou and Kaiser to recruit the best players now whereas his last go around he had that ship all to himself.
on February 3,2014 | 03:32PM
Rite80 wrote:
This could be UH's 13th game. A Chow and Lee grudge match. Only worried that Saint Louis might has a bigger crowd than UH.
on February 3,2014 | 05:51PM
ponojr wrote:
oh oh for Punahou. The Lees are back and you can bet they'll pickup the recruiting efforts to compete against the Buffs
on February 3,2014 | 03:32PM
palolo2001 wrote:
You need lots of money to recruit the best athletes. Punahou has their carnival, St Louis needs to think of a big fund raiser to help Coach Lee out.
on February 3,2014 | 08:22PM
nippy68 wrote:
big question........will he continue the dynasty that he created????????????????
on February 3,2014 | 03:43PM
syhud wrote:
St. Louis putting football before academics.
on February 3,2014 | 03:44PM
FrankieT wrote:
This has happened before and this will happen again, how many players will actually graduate from Saint Louis?
on February 3,2014 | 04:26PM
niimi wrote:
Oh, they will graduate alright. The real question is will they be prepared for college?
on February 3,2014 | 05:39PM
false wrote:
Plenty of fast food and cook helper's jobs when they finally finish high school.
on February 3,2014 | 05:48PM
briola wrote:
Right. I played four years for him from 1991-1995. I'm a physician now; and proud to be a St Louis alumni.
on February 9,2014 | 08:48PM
PTF wrote:
The Dynasty continues.
on February 3,2014 | 03:45PM
boshio wrote:
You hope, or is Lee out dated like Chow.
on February 3,2014 | 05:07PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Doesn't matter - it's St. Louis that's outdated and out of touch - much like the religion the school is affiliated to.
on February 3,2014 | 06:02PM
808waddup wrote:
Your comments beholds your ignorance.
on February 3,2014 | 07:27PM
vball808chick wrote:
Oh ohhhhh, lol! I want to see St. Louis vs. Kahuku in the 2014 Title match. Been waiting since 2010 for this game!
on February 3,2014 | 03:46PM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
Does this mean that Cal Lee will not be a candidate for OHA trustee? His candidacy in 2012 was filled with corruption, especially regarding violations of laws governing campaign contributions.
on February 3,2014 | 03:47PM
dsl wrote:
conk - you need some love in your life...too much anger in everything you write.
on February 5,2014 | 11:54AM
monarch1 wrote:
What the heck is a "post -graduate counselor"? Is that for football players that graduate from St Louis but cant get into college :0
on February 3,2014 | 03:54PM
niimi wrote:
Ensures they can get a job because the school isn't truly college-prep?
on February 3,2014 | 05:39PM
Papakolea wrote:
The school is in such deep financial trouble that the alumni association had to co-sign a loan for them...but they're going to put a lot of resources into high school football. If I was the principal, I'd resign...oh wait...she did.
on February 3,2014 | 04:18PM
whs1966 wrote:
Let's see how long it takes Cal to become principal & AD in fact as well as head football coach. His returning to SLS is an admission that the school is all about football...as others have commented, academics are a lower priority than football. Sad. If the school is not careful, it will go the way of many Catholic high schools on the mainland: gone.
on February 3,2014 | 04:42PM
Tony91 wrote:
Only in Hawaii is this considered front page news....
on February 3,2014 | 04:43PM
jimmyhouse67 wrote:
Obviously, you've never been out of Hawaii, because in Denver and Las Vegas it does make headlines/front page when you have one of the power schools hiring/firing a coach.
on February 3,2014 | 04:49PM
Actually, he is back where he belongs. UH was never for him and he will do well at St. Louis. How many of you know that he served with the 100th Bn 442nd Inf during peacetime. Yes, he did and I was with him. He is a good guy.
on February 3,2014 | 04:52PM
Bdpapa wrote:
He is a good guy!
on February 3,2014 | 08:13PM
niimi wrote:
St. Louis needs to get their academic standards high else they are just continuing their at-best reputation as a mere jock school.
on February 3,2014 | 05:38PM
kaimuki21 wrote:
Saint Louis HS has a rich history and includes many successful graduates who work in the business world, different professions and serve others. Not sure why people can't be more supportive of a school that gives many young men opportunities.
on February 3,2014 | 06:12PM
clan4irish wrote:
Congratulations Cal and St. Louis. As you can see by the responses, the nay sayers and haters know the school will succeed and are worried. The academics are superb, the faith is our foundation and athletics will continue to thrive. See you up on the hill! Go Crusaders!
on February 3,2014 | 06:19PM
sportsmom wrote:
This will be good for St. Louis and for the entire State. Looking forward to next season!
on February 3,2014 | 07:03PM
jkjones wrote:
Ken Conklin ran for OHA in 2000 as a non-Hawaiian candidate after joining in a suit challenging the OHA elections to include non-Hawaiian candidates. Arakaki v State of Hawaii allowed non-Hawaiian candidates to run for OHA. Conklin, et al, won the suit but he was trounced in the election, losing by over 40,000 votes. That is about the same margin of victory Coach Lee put on most of his opponents. Poetic Justice? You bet. Conklin does not want to help Hawaiians, he wants to dismantle institutions established for their benefit. He is entitled to his ideologies but not at the price of slandering someone based on fiction. Ken Conklin is a self-proclaimed Hawaiian History “expert” who is full of misinformation, half-truths and faulty conclusions. He is a Hawaiian history revisionist who harbors anger towards Hawaiian claims. He has ranted on the internet ad nausem and has “published his opinions” ( over 30) online without peer or legal review. Conklin arrived in Hawaii in the early 90’s and has been on a tear to dismantle Hawaiian claims. He is highly opinionated and takes every opportunity to trash talk Hawaiian movements for restitution and restoration of Hawaiian Sovereignty…that is not bad in itself, but it is the hateful manner and intensity of his anger and resentment for indigenous rights that separates this man from reasoned dissent. In contrast, Coach Lee has worked in the community for over 45 years with a proven record of giving back to the community comprised of all ethnic backgrounds. Coach Lee is color blind. The truth about the Cal Lee campaign is far from the felonious accusations Conklin makes. Cal Lee’s staff, not the candidate was cited for process stuff. It was corrected immediately. It was not deliberate, but rather due to misinterpretation after rules discussion with the State campaign people. Once the rules were made clear, staff made corrections. The end. Anyone who has an ounce of knowledge about Cal Lee’s integrity would feel the injustice in Conklin’s libel. Ordinarily most ignore Mr Conklin. Just as the voters did in 2000. Not this time. Conklin needs to be called out.
on February 5,2014 | 08:39AM
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