Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Kaemehameha’s Charles Heaukulani Sharing Life Lessons

Kelley and Charles Heaukulani

Vince Lombardi once said, “A man can be as great as he wants to be.  If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”

  The great Green Bay Packer coach from the 1950’s and 60’s was right for his time and today a new generation of coaches are taking those words a step further to include both genders.

   Kamehameha girl’s soccer coach, Charles Heaukulani, believes that women should be afforded the same opportunities in sports life lessons that men have always had.

   “With only a limited number of contact sports for girls, I think competitive soccer is a great opportunity to experiment with these life skills,” Heaukulani said.  “To be successful in soccer, our girls need to be exceptionally fit and have technical skills, but what ultimately makes them successful is that they possess toughness, hardness and physical courage.”

  Heaukulani, who grew up playing football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, team handball, weight training, paddling, surfing, golf, tennis, racquetball and more, believes in offering his players every advantage possible in learning a variety of life skills.

   “I believe that the skill set that gives a young lady some success on the soccer field translates easily to the classroom, boardroom, courtroom or whatever else she decides to make her mark,” he said.  “As a coach, there is hardly anything more satisfying to me than to coach up a girl from elementary school and watch her develop and use skills she acquired in soccer as a springboard to a college degree and a happy, productive, successful life and career.”

  Heaukulani grew up in a military family and traveled extensively as a youth, but always consider Hawaii his home.

   “My father was born and raised on the Hamakua Coast,” he said.  “My mother and her family are originally from Germany.  We traveled a lot when I was growing up, but we always kept Hawaii as our home base.”

   Heaukulani graduated from Punahou where he played football and basketball.  Later attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he obtain a Bachelor and Masters Degree and obtained a law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.

   “My entire family was actively involved in sports when I was growing up,” Heaukulani said.  “My father was a coach and my Mom, three brothers and I were active sports nuts.”

   As a result of his involvement in youth sports Heaukulani continued to stay active as a young adult by playing in softball and volleyball leagues, practiced Aikido and other martial arts, and spent time in the ocean, surfing and diving.


   “I am a second-generation coach,” he said.  “My Dad was actively involved coaching football, basketball, and baseball, and it never occurred to me that I would not follow in his footsteps.  I started taking coaching courses and getting opportunities to coach elementary age kids when I was still at Punahou.”

  Now coaching girl’s soccer at Kamehameha, Heaukulani believes in the words of Coach Vince Lombardi, that athletes can achieve anything if they want it bad enough.

   “I really enjoy working with young people and using soccer, competition and team-building to help them develop life skills that will help them be productive and successful long after they have left high school,” Heaukulani said. 

   “I tell my players that if they want it bad enough, are willing to sacrifice to obtain it, there is absolutely nothing that is beyond them,” he said.

  Heaukulani is also a believer in the benefits of health and fitness and continues to be a role model for his players and for the community.

   “I enjoy the health benefits of staying in shape, but working out really helps me control the stress of a busy litigation practice and coaching schedule,” he said.

   Heaukulani runs regularly, to relieve stress and stay in shape, and he will also do weight training to compliment his fitness routine.

   “I think Hilo Bayfront and the Hamakua Coast are the most beautiful running routes on the planet, and running is important to me and it is also something that Kelley (his wife) and I can do together,” he said.

   “I do something every day and cross-train with strength and core workouts and now play on my new stand-up paddle board, thanks to a Christmas gift from Kelley” Heaukulani said.

   As for diet Heaukulani does not eat any animal-based products, other than fish, and will avoid refined foods.  “I try to eat whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes,” he said.

   Heaukulani serves as an excellent role model for our youth as he continues to promote the virtues of good health through physical fitness and a balance diet as he constantly strives to teach life skills through sports.

   “My Dad left a letter for me to read after he was gone,” Heaukulani said.  “He said that at the end, nobody ever regretted not spending more time at the office.  I have a busy schedule, but I try not to forget that what is really important is your walk with Akua (God) and the family and friends you have around you.”


March 30, 2010 Posted by | Profiles, Running on the Big Island, Soccer | , , , , | 1 Comment