New coach serves up fresh game plan
CarrieAnn Randolph, Sports Editor
September 27, 2012
Filed under Sports
The ‘Iolani Girls Volleyball program entered a new era this year. Last year, girls’ varsity head coach Jenic Tumanang decided to step down.
There was buzz for months as to who the new coach would be, with the names of various club and high school
coaches being tossed about. Our team is enthusiastic about having Kainoa Obrey ‘99 named head coach this year. Obrey attended ‘Iolani and graduated in 1999. While at ‘Iolani he played volleyball and baseball. His wife, Kelli Obrey, who coaches along side him, is a ’98 graduate. Before the team started to warm up for the highly anticipated game against the Punahou Buffanblu, Coach Obrey answered a few questions.
Imua ‘Iolani: I know you coach for the Ku’ikahi wahine club team but have you coached high school girls before?”
Coach Obrey: Yes, Coach Kelli [Obrey] and I have helped out with the HBA girl’s teams before. We’ve had the experience of coaching different age groups for the O’ahu Volleyball Club, since my wife’s mom is the head of the club. Along with coaching my sister Taylor Dayton’s (Punahou ’13) club team, we’ve worked with girls before.
Obrey has been the Assistant Director and Head Coach of Technical Development for the Ku’ikahi Volleyball Club since 2005 and the boys volleyball coach at Mid-Pacific Institute from 2007 to 2010. In 2008, he was named the ILH Volleyball co-Coach of the Year.
Obrey said, “I really enjoy coaching here, being back here at ‘Iolani. It’s nice to see coaches, teachers that I had, and peers who are teachers.” Some of his classmates who are teaching at ‘Iolani are Mr. Erik Yamamoto, Mr. Kirk Uejio, and Ms. Kristin Masunaga.
I‘I: I heard that you plan on coaching baseball this year as well. Is that true?
CO: Yes, I do and I’m looking forward to it. There may be a Division II team in the works. People usually associate me more with baseball actually than volleyball.”
As a Raider baseball player, Obrey was coached by sixth grade teacher Dean Yonamine in high school and then played for Brigham Young University from 2000-2003. He went on to play
professionally for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003.
With Obrey’s arrival, there are many new faces in the volleyball program.
“We wanted to bring in people who were familiar with the background with our program or style of coaching. Alumni, especially those who were coached by Ann Kang, and anyone else who wanted to be a part of what we are trying to do,” he said. “Our motto is, ‘keep it simple.’ Simple movements are easily repeatable.
“I’ll be honest, I’m very competitive,” Obrey said. “I want us to do well. But what I really want is for the kids to know how special relationships are. If you look at us [the coaches], it’s been 14 years out and we still talk about high school. The relationships you make with people are very important.”
Obrey’s words echo our alma mater: “Here friendships weave their mystic strands forever. A fellowship that time shall not defy.” The girls are quickly learning that they are not just volleyball players, but ultimately competitors. Each has something to offer to the team that will make it successful. Obrey brings an aggressive, higher level of play to the varsity team and the entire program, and the team looks forward to a great season.