Head coach Kenny Joseph got interested in football coaching by watching his father and brother coach. Joseph started coaching youngsters in 1996 and began his first baseball season with his team Little Rascals, made up of five to eight-year old boys and girls. They lost all games that season but went on to win the inter-league championship the following year. After winning a series of championships in different age divisions in baseball, Joseph started coaching football as an assistant coach and became the head coach in 2004. In 2005 he and the Waianae Tigers won their first state championship. He is now looking forward to his 10th season as the Tigers Junior Peewee (JPW) head coach. Joseph is a senior shop manager for the U.S. Navy when he is not helping his Tigers. “I enjoy coaching the youth athletes, and watching them make progress every day just makes my day. Some people love fishing, hunting – I love coaching.”
Q: How do you feel about your team’s outstanding performance last season winning the 2012 State Championship?
A: To all the coaches and players of our Tiger JPW program, I am so proud of you. You had started the 2012 season with a win, tie, and a loss in our first three games after being undefeated in four consecutive regular seasons. We needed to step up our game, and we realized this young team had to mature very fast, and that they did.
Q: What was your formula for getting your team in shape?
A: We needed to get back to basics and fundamentals which we did with hard work, commitment and discipline without stopping. We went on a winning streak from that point on, winning back-to-back state championships. We competed in the Orlando, Florida 56th Pop Warner Super Bowl where we placed third nationally.
Q: How important is this national recognition for you and your team?
A: This was big after coming up short two times. Also this team was the first Waianae JPW team to represent Hawaii in the Pop Warner Super Bowl. It proves how a team and community who come together can succeed. We’ll remember that hard work is the key for winning against players with talent. When you have talent and hard work, you get championships.
Q: Who are your team’s supporters in the community?
A: I want to thank the Tigers board president Tisha Funez and her staff for everything they do for our youth athletes in Waianae, and a special thanks to Waianae Arcade and Kazu Constructions for making my JPW team’s dreams come true. To my parents and fans, we could not have done it without you guys.
Q: Tell me about your team’s experiences in Orlando,Florida.
A: When we arrived in Florida, I could just see the excitement in my boys’ eyes. I told myself, “We made it, now let’s finish the battle.” I felt bad for the kids at times because they couldn’t do anything until after the first game, but everyone knew why we were there. Our first game was a blow, but we beat the Steelers from Connecticut, 28-0. When we got there, we looked so small next to all the other JPW teams that traveled to Florida to compete in the national championship Bowl games, but I knew in my heart, “wait until the game starts and you will feel the Hawaiian punch.” And that they did – our defense played stingy, and our offense was hungry. Our fans were the best; they cheered and made our Waianae community look good. We lost the semi-final game, 20-14, but I tell you, after everything is said and done, they had earned a State Championship, took third nationally, and won the Sportsmanship Award for Division-1 JPW in Orlando. They made a name for themselves as everyone was talking about that undersized team with the biggest heart from Hawaii.
Q: What was the greatest game played in Hawaii in the 2012 season?
A: When we played Nanakuli for the state championship game, this was one awesome game with both sides not giving up. They scored, we scored, and we were the team that had the ball last and created the most turnovers, we won, but hats off to both the Waianae Tigers and the Nanakuli Hawks! In my eyes that game went down in history as one of the greatest JPW games ever played – what talent the West side has to offer!
Q: What’s the secret to your success as head coach?
A: I thank the guys on the coaching staff for all they did the last eight years I was the head coach, and I am proud to tell you we have an awesome coaching staff with a record of 81-7-2 that speaks for itself. With four Division-1 JPW State Championship wins, two Las Vegas Bowl victories, one California Bowl victory and two times runner-up State Champions, thank you, coaches, parents, fans, and sponsors for all your sacrifices. I will never forget what you guys did, and I believe when you do good things, good things will return – go Tigers!