Local Heroes: Former coach Rusty Komori serves up secrets to success


Former coach Rusty Komori led the Punahou School boys’ varsity tennis team to 22 consecutive state championships.

He set a national record for the longest streak in the history of the United States in all sports.

“I was 24 years old when the athletic director and tennis director asked me to be head coach,” Komori recalled. “The reason was I was privately training over half of the boys on the varsity team anyway. I felt that it was a huge responsibility for me, because I’m going to be coaching these impressionable high-schoolers, and I wanted to make sure they had the best team experience possible. Because tennis is such an individual sport, I wanted to make sure they had a priceless experience in tennis.”

As head coach, Komori developed the four Ps: “If I focused on the people, had a great purpose, and had a really good process, then that would equal the performance.”

“My top goal while coaching at Punahou was to develop champion athletes of character first, and great tennis players second, and then to have the results that we have just makes me feel very, very proud of the boys that I’ve had all those years,” he said.

After Komori retired in 2015, he wanted to share what he had learned and inspire others. That desire turned into the book “Beyond the Lines.”

“It’s about leadership. It’s about achieving and sustaining success. It’s about finding greatness. It’s about improving your life, and the lives of others,” he said. “The reason I wrote the book was to help improve the lives of others, and I want to help them lead in the proper way so that everyone can have priceless, positive experiences.

“People have told me that my winning streak is an incredible legacy. But in my mind, that’s not it. In my mind, my legacy is going to be something bigger and greater, by helping all people around the world,” he said.

Komori will appear at a book signing on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at Ala Moana Center.Website: www.rustykomori.comDo you know someone who is a Local Hero? Email living808@khon2.com.

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