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KSK Director of Football Operations and head coach of the varsity football team watches intently as players participate in strength and conditioning drills.

Coach Kaeo Drummondo brings his own version of the 'Warrior Way' to KSK football

April 24, 2023

Spring Break is usually a respite from campus for KSK haumāna. But to athletes looking for a spot on the Warriors' varsity football team, it was time to show up and set the foundation for next season under new head coach Kaeo Drummondo KSK '03. "On the field, you don't win a championship in April, May, June or July, but you can lose if you're not putting the necessary work in," he said one afternoon between weight room sessions. "A big component of what we want to accomplish as a football program is the offseason - we have to try to win the offseason. If we really want to have football success, that's one of the pillars; that's a good start."

Coach Kaeo knows football success. As head coach in Hilo, he led his team to two Division I state titles. A former Warrior player himself, now he oversees the entire football program, from elementary grades through the varsity level as Director of Football Operations. "When I got the call, you know, it was very humbling. This is a huge privilege." He has a deep understanding of his kuleana to develop competitive athletes while cultivating their strength of character off the field. "It's really going to be about how they carry themselves in school, what type of peers they are, how they treat their teachers, the administrators, different staff on the campus. That will be the reflection of what our football program is. We have team-oriented goals that we want to accomplish on the field, and we have a standard of how we want to play the game, but we’re not going to allow wins or losses to define who we are."

KSK Director of Campus Athletics and Human Performance Rob Hesia says he is excited for all that Coach Kaeo will bring to the table. "We want our kids here at Kamehameha to be inspired to pursue excellence in sports, academics and in life, but also embrace the process and enjoy it. And I think Coach Kaeo is one of those guys that's going to help these kids pursue excellence."

While he admits that returning to his alma mater has been "surreal," he is honored to take his place within the proud tradition of Warriors football. "I'm a very passionate Kamehameha graduate, like most of us are." He recognizes his role in helping create the next generation of E Ola! Graduates. "I think we can never lose what Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop wanted, which is for us to leverage these resources to better ourselves so that we can put ourselves in a situation one day to help the next generation, to teach life lessons, through whatever career you decide to go into."

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