Friday, January 22, 2010

Eddie Hamada

The field at 'Iolani School is named in Eddie Hamada's honor, but the legendary coach's legacy extends well beyond the campus borders.

Hamada died at his home yesterday morning, leaving behind an indelible imprint on Hawaii high school sports and on the lives of those he coached. He was 81.

"He was the most decent man alive," his wife, Cynthia, said last night.

As a longtime head football coach and athletic director, Hamada, a 1946 Iolani graduate, upheld the "One Team" tradition set by Father Kenneth Bray.

Hamada led 'Iolani to the 1968 Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship and added another title in 1972. The Red Raiders reached their lone Prep Bowl in 1980, when Hamada and Waianae head coach -- and fellow 'Iolani graduate -- Larry Ginoza dueled to a 7-7 tie.

Hamada stepped down as head coach in 1987 and continued to serve as athletic director until his retirement in 1992.

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They said goodbye to Mr. Aloha yesterday.

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