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Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda retires

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Leilehua’s head coach Nolan Tokuda, second from left, stands with his team during the first half of an OIA football game between the Leilehua Mules and the Waianae Seariders on Friday, August 28, 2015 in Wahiawa.

Longtime Leilehua football coach Nolan Tokuda told Hawaii Prep World this morning that he has retired from coaching.

Tokuda cited family needs (young children) as his primary reason for stepping down after more than a decade as head coach. He will also apply for the athletic director position in July.

He added that he supports longtime assistant coach Mark Kurisu as the next head coach.

“Mark has already been named (head coach) this morning,” Tokuda wrote via text. “It’s Mark’s time to take over. He has been ready for years now. He was the defensive coordinator for three former head coaches. Mark will take the program to the next level, building better men, student-athletes and football players.”

Kurisu took over the helm in ’11 when Tokuda took a sabbatical and guided the Mules to a 10-2-1 season. He was the DC under Cass Ishitani, Jake Kawamata and Tokuda.

Leilehua’s Nolan Tokuda took the Mules to three state finals and won one state championship in his 12 seasons as head coach.

Tokuda took over for Kawamata in 2004, turning a 3-5 team into a 10-4 squad. That Mules team reached the Division I state tournament final, losing to Kamehameha 28-7.

In ’07, Leilehua promoted a JV quarterback named Andrew Manley to the varsity after the team went 3-3 in the regular season and lost its QBs to injuries. Leilehua went on to sweep through the OIA playoffs and state tournament to capture its first state championship, beating Saint Louis 20-16.

The Mules returned to the state final in ’08, losing to Punahou 38-7.

“I’m going to miss everything,” Tokuda wrote. “All my coaches. My players past and present. Coaching colleagues. Rod York. Nelson Maeda. Wendall Say. Al Viloria. Walt Young. Arnold Martinez. Darren Hernandez. Even the officials. Guys like Danny Bayne. Mike Goshima. Robert Victor.

“I’m going to miss preparing week in and week out. X’s and O’s, and especially the Jimmys and the Joes. The most important to me was the relationships that I was so blessed to have built and be a part of.”

This year’s team went 5-8, reaching the semifinal round of the Division I state tournament. He leaves with a career win-loss record of 86-43.

Tokuda was a quarterback at Aiea, playing for Say. He played in the first OC-16 televised game.

“Football is the greatest vehicle to teach life skills, things like discipline. Teamwork. Dealing with adversity and being humble during your success,” he added.

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