After more than 20 years and two state titles with Punahou, Kale Ane is taking over the McKinley High School football program. Ane helped build the BuffanBlu into a powerhouse program, reaching the state tournament six times, winning championships in 2008 and 2013.
“I’m grateful for my years at Punahou. It was terrific and like you said I learned a lot. Coming to McKinley just enhances that opportunity to start over again and create new friendships and communicate with new families and help kids reach their dreams and goals,” Ane told KHON2’s Alan Hoshida by phone on Friday afternoon.
His tenure with Punahou ended amidst controversy after a lawsuit was filed against a former assistant basketball coach with allegations of sexual abuse while Ane was part of the administration. In May of 2020, Ane was place on paid-administrative leave along with several others and later retired in May of 2021 from his coaching duties and role as Co-Athletics Director. The suits do not accuse Ane or other current staff of misconduct and are not named defendants. He is aware of what the public perception might be of him taking a new coaching job, but says he will focus on helping his student-athletes reach their goals.
“I’m an offensive lineman so I think we just put our heads down and go, but we aren’t blind. We know what’s going on. You never do anything by yourself there is a lot of support. When you have the opportunity to do something that you really care for and have a chance to help others that’s always a great criteria.”
The veteran coach has a fresh start with McKinley, but there is a lot of work to be done. The Tigers need to rebuild if they want to challenge for a Division II title. They’ve won just six times since 2014 and haven’t had a winning season since 2011. Ane hopes to bring a winning pedigree to the Tigers.
“There is a lot more talent than I thought. The kids are working hard, but again, you want to start your own culture and expectations and how we’re going to approach things. It’s a fun opportunity to start over, rebuild and create.”
“My Dad is my hero. He did a similar path, playing pro then coaching. He decided to go to Maui, a small school called St. Anthony’s. They never had more than 25-28 kids. I was worried about him taking on that challenge but when I went to visit he was very enthusiastic. He had some incredible years. He really really enjoyed it, so ever since then I told myself that when I did decide to retire that would be something I would pursue so I’m moving in that direction. I’m excited to follow in his footsteps again.”