HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Just weeks before the start of the Oahu Interscholastic Association football season, the Kaimuki Bulldogs fired the longtime head coach of their program.
The school did not say why David Tautofi was fired.
But in an interview with Hawaii News Now on Tuesday, Tautofi says his contract was not renewed due to disagreements with Kaimuki directors over a number of issues.
“They felt like I was speaking above them, going above their administration when it really had nothing to do with them or the level of the school,” Tautofi said. “We’re talking about the whole state. “
The last time Tautofi coached the Bulldogs, he led the 2019 OIA Division 2 title program.
During the sport’s pandemic layoff, he says neither he nor his staff were included in discussions on how to resume the season.
So when he met alone with officials from the state education ministry, he believes that Kaimuki’s principal and sports director were offended.
“At the school level, I am held to this expectation as a coach of not talking about it too much or not being able to do it, even to make a call to the superintendent myself,” Tautofi said. .
“It’s almost a no-no for OIA coaches and why? I am not sure.”
Tautofi says he came up with a number of ideas for Kaimuki staff and the DOE, including adding an extra year of eligibility for seniors who missed the 2020 season and a pre-training window. longer season for coaches and players.
He also disagreed with generalized vaccination mandates for student-athletes.
“The problem is not the vaccines themselves,” Tautofi said. “If it happens, it happens. But it’s just the divisive idea of always trying to stick with athletics. Anyone can get tested every two weeks, they still consider athletics a mandatory vaccination and there is still not enough justification for doing so. “
Next month, the OIA heads to its first football season since 2019 and Tautofi is skeptical that the year has started off without a hitch as he says the school is not fully prepared.
“They are always trying to create forms and always trying to give answers to families who always ask questions,” Tautofi said. “All of this time that we have given these children and delayed and it is still very worrying that we are not on top of things.”
HNN has repeatedly contacted Kaimuki High’s administration and their athletic director for comment, but has not received a response.
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