Legendary Iolani football coach Eddie Hamada dies
Eddie Hamada, Iolani School's iconic former football coach and athletic director, died yesterday morning at his Hawaii Kai home from natural causes, according to Chris Shimabukuro, Iolani's development director.
He was 81.
Shimabukuro said Hamada — highly respected in the Hawaii high school sports community — had been suffering from various ailments in recent months.
Hamada was a 5-foot-7, 145-pound all-star center for Iolani in 1945, playing under legendary coach Father Kenneth A. Bray. After earning his teaching degree from Emporia (Kansas) State University, Hamada returned to Iolani as a teacher and became head football coach in 1960.
His tenure lasted until 1987, and included three Interscholastic League of Honolulu championships and a 7-7 tie with Waianae in the 1980 Prep Bowl, then regarded as Hawaii's "mythical" state title game. He stayed on as athletic director until 1992, and continued to contribute to Iolani and the local high school sports scene in volunteer efforts until four or five years ago.
Hamada is credited with carrying on Bray's "One Team" legacy, a philosophy of teamwork and unselfishness which became Iolani's school mantra.
Shimabukuro said memorial services will be held at Iolani later this month.