Kapalama’s Gaison Named New AD at KS-Maui
By Rodney S. Yap
The resume is impressive:
* He was an All-State quarterback for Kamehameha and led the Warriors to back-to-back state football championships.
* He also earned the Stan Bates Award, given to the top male scholar-athlete in the Western Athletic Conference.
* He received All-WAC and All-America honors at UH, where he graduated in Pre-law.
* He played five seasons in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons.
After 23 years of athletic administration at KS-Kapālama, Blane Gaison has been chosen the new Kamehameha Schools Maui athletic director. KS-Maui Principal for the High School Foundation — grades 9 to 10 — Lance Cagasan made the announcement Wednesday and part of the press release was posted online, in the “KS Newsroom” section of the school’s official website.
Gaison, 54, has been in athletic administration at KS Kapālama since 1989, both as an associate and co-head director of athletics. Over that 23-year span, Gaison has been the recipient of numerous national awards, including the 2006 National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Citation Award and the 2007 National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Distinguished Service Award .
“Blane is an outstanding and seasoned administrator, educator and role model for our KS Maui student athletes,” Cagasan said in the story. “In addition, his experience with various athletic associations can only help to enhance what is already done at the league level. We are certainly grateful and humbled to have him join our Maui team.”
The 1976 Kamehameha Schools graduate returned to his alma mater as the head football coach in 1989. He coached the Warriors for seven years, while also serving as the school’s associate athletic director. He then ended his coaching career in 1996, when he was promoted to co-athletic director, a position he held until 2006.
Gaison replaces Kurt Ginoza, who was hired by KS-Maui in 2002 announced his resignation on July 28 and stayed until Sept. 7, helping interim athletic director Kanani Souza transition out of retirement to the Pukalani campus. Souza retired from KS-Kapalama last July. He served as AD his last five years and was hired as the school’s head football coach and assistant AD in 1996.
Sources said Baldwin High assistant AD and head baseball coach Jon Viela was the other finalist for the job.
“I’m humbled and honored for the opportunity to continue to serve our Hawaiian youth on the KS Maui campus,” said Gaison. “After all these years, it’ll be difficult leaving Kapālama. But I’m excited about the opportunity to build new relationships on the Maui campus.”
Cagasan did not give a start date for Gaison, a Kaneohe native who is married (Donnalei) with four children. His oldest daughter, Pilialoha, was crowned Miss Hawaii in 2007. His oldest son, Kepa, who was part of Kamehameha’s 2004 state championship team coached by Souza, was a starting linebacker at Utah in 2009.
Gaison is the Maui Interscholastic League’s fifth new athletic director since the 2012-2013 school year started. In October, Seabury Hall’s Steve Colflesh announced he was leaving in May. He started at the Olinda campus in 1980 and his replacement will be the sixth new AD from the MIL’s 12 schools.
Meanwhile, Maui Preparatory Academy elevated former Lahainaluna standout Kawika Casco to AD. Casco took over for Ryan Kirkham, who is now the school’s principal. Molokai hired Hoku Haliniak to replace Camie Kimball, who retired at the end of last year. St. Anthony’s Al Paschoal turned over his AD hat to athletic trainer Tylan Rogers on Nov. 1. Paschoal is the school’s dean of students.
And finally, King Kekauike’s P.K. Higa went from interim AD to permanent AD at the Upcountry school in mid-October.
Gaison was a standout athlete at Kamehameha, lettering in football, basketball, baseball and track and field, leading the Warriors to back-to-back (1974-75) O‘ahu Prep Bowl titles in football and a state basketball championship in 1976. He then went on to play football at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where he garnered honorable mention All-America, all-Coast, all-Western Athletic Conference, academic all-WAC and WAC scholar-athlete honors. He was the first UH athlete to win the prestigious Bates Award and was inducted to the UH Circle of Honor in 1999.
Gaison and UH teammate Ed Riewerts are credited with starting the Senior Walk tradition around Aloha Stadium in 1980, when the pair decided to say after the game was over to thank friends and family for their support.
Then in 1981, Gaison was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, where he played defensive back for five seasons.