Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Bob Wagner, former Rainbow football Coach and Kamehamaha Athletic Director retires

Bog Wagner

Kamehameha names Weaver athletic director

 UHH Vulcan press release

Looking to replace the only athletic director that the school has known, Kamehameha-Hawaii is turning to a familiar face.

Kimo Weaver was promoted to take over for the retiring Bob Wagner, the school announced Tuesday.

“I am grateful and honored to be named athletic director at Kamehameha Schools,” Weaver, an athletic and fitness coordinator at Kamehameha since 2008, said in a school release. “It is both humbling and exciting to have the opportunity to lead an exceptional staff and outstanding students, to continue the tradition of excellence that was established under the leadership of Bob Wagner.”

In addition to being an aide to Wagner, Weaver was the Warriors’ head track and field coach as well as assistant in football and wrestling.

This will be his second stint as an AD in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation. Before coming to Kamehameha, Weaver headed Ka’u High athletics for eight years.

“Mr. Weaver’s experience and familiarity with athletic and school operations will support and foster seamless efforts between the academia and athletics for our students at Kamehameha,” principal Lehua Veincent said in the release.

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/former-uh-rainbow-football-coach-bob-wagner-staying-healthy/


July 21, 2012 Posted by | Events | , , | Leave a comment

Lover’s Day 5K raises 488 pounds of canned goods for Food Pantry in HPP

Start of Lover's Day 5K with 302 participants

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and Big Dog Productions got a head start on the big day by hosting a Lover’s Day 5K on Sunday.

Over 300 people showed up to either run, walk or jog the 3.1-mile scenic course along the coast of Hilo Bay, setting a new record for Big Dog Productions number of participants..

With the theme being Lover’s Day the Big Dog decided to add a new twist to the fitness event by offering a special recognition award to couples that held hands while covering the 5K distance.

It was a pleasant surprise to see so many couples eager to take advantage of the novel idea.  Duo’s volunteered to have their wrists tied together with yarn in order to keep with the Lover’s Day theme.

Couples held hands while doing the 3.1 mile event

A couple from Kenai River in Alaska, Cindy and Jim Nelson, jogged the entire distance to set the record for fastest time for a couple holding hands, with their finishing time of 36 minutes and 35 seconds.

“We’re in love,” Cindy Nelson said after the race.  “Just like love we keep on running together.”

According to Jim Nelson the event was his Valentine’s Day present to his wife.

“We enjoy doing things together and we got motivated when we did the Big Dog Resolution Run on Jan 1,” Jim Nelson said.  “We’ve been running almost every day since the New Year and will continue to do so.”

Another couple, Archie and Marlene Hapai, wanted to try something new in order to create another memory together.

“We’ve been married for 39 years and we just wanted to see if we could do it and have another crazy memory to share,” Marlene Hapai said.

The Hapai’s believe that to keep a relationship together takes daily work.

“We do little things for each other and we take an interest in and actively participate in each other’s interests,” Archie Hapai said.

Another couple that decided to join in on the hand holding fun was Steve and Andrea Sparks from Puna. 

“Part of doing this walk together is a comeback of sorts for us,” Andrea said.  “This is going to be the start of our goal in doing a walking event every month.”

“We always hold hands or join at the elbows wherever we go,” Steve said.  “Today is a memorable event for us as we met people from all over the country.”

Other couples doing the event holding hands included Davis Abraham and Stacey Kapeliela, James and Nancy Iaukea, along with Shane, Noah and Malia Johnston.

The event was more about couples than it was about individual runners, but there were your usual cast of serious men and women who wanted to test their harrier skills while getting a good cardiovascular workout.

5K overall winners

Leading the pack from the very start was University of Hawaii at Hilo cross country runners Zach Johnson and Kirsta Andrew.

“I ran with teammate Paul Mauser for most of the way,” Johnson said.  “We didn’t separate until the half way turn around point and after that I was running by myself.”

Johnson finished in 17 minutes and 57 seconds and was followed by Tyde Kaneshiro, 18:04; Justin Pang, 18:07, Isaiah Sato, 18:23; Jackson Halford, 18:59; and Mauser came in sixth at 19:02.

For the women it was Andrew running with Vulcan coach Nina Hagemann as the two decided to stay together in the early going.

“I ran with Nina for most of the race and we didn’t separate until we saw the finish line, about 50 meters in front,” Andrew said.  “At that point I started my kick.”

Andrew took top women honors with her time of 22 minutes flat and Hagemann coming in three seconds behind.  Hilo’s Lory Hunter took third at 23:07.

Eakins & Wagner

Kamehameha School parents, teachers and staff decided to participate under the direction and leadership of Zeeny Eakins and Bob Wagner.

“We did the New Years Day Resolution run/walk and wanted to try to do another event outside of work,” Eakins said.  “We had about 40 from the Kamehameha ohana and everyone had a smile on their face when they finished.”

“We’re happy to come out and do something for the community,” Wagner said.  “Giving canned goods to the Food Basket is a great cause and coming out to get some exercise for our bodies is a positive way to stay health and fit for our own families.”


The event raised a total of 488 pounds of canned food items for the Hawaiian Paradise Park Food Pantry, with some participants donating cash to help the islands Food Basket.


Coming up on Sunday, March 20, is the 14th annual Big Island International Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K run/walk.

Both the full marathon (26.2 miles) and half marathon (13.1 miles) have been sold out since January 3, but there are nearly 90 remain slots for the 5K (3.1 mile) event.

Those interested in participating in the 5K should sign up soon because once those remaining slots are taking the 5K will also be closed.

To sign up go to www.hilomarathon.org or for more information on the event or on how to volunteer call the Big Dog at 969-7400.

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/big-dogs-lovers-5k-sets-participant-record-of-302-official-results/

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bob Wagner & Kamehameha Ohana coming to Big Dogs Lovers 5K

Athletic Director Bob Wagner and the Kamehameha Athletic Department along with Zee Atkins has put out a fitness challenge to their parents and staff to do the Big Dogs Lovers 5K on Sunday, Feb 6.  The following is the email that was circulated toWarrior ohana:

Bob Wagner

Happy New Year Athletic Dept Ohana!

On Sunday, February 6 Big Dog Productions will be hosting a “free” 5k (3.1mi) walk/run beginning at Coconut Island, 7:30am. Entry fee is one canned good to be donated to the Hawaii Island Food Bank.

Our fearless leader, Bob Wagner would like to encourage all of us- and our families- to participate. What a great opportunity for us & our families to mingle, set an example for our students & start our day off with a little exercise & fresh Hilo air!

So here’s what you need to do:

1)      Confirm your and any family members’ participation with Zeny.

2)      We would like to show our unity at this community event. If your family members will be participating, please email Zeny their t-shirt size. Athletic Dept t-shirts (grey) for those people will be distributed at the event.

3)      Bring your food donations to the Athletics Office the week of Jan 31 or to the event.

4)      Meet at Coconut Island no later than 7:15am. All participants must sign a BIRRC waiver to participate.

The walk/run will begin promptly at 7:30am. It is a lovely, flat course that runs along Bayfront. Walkers, joggers, runner of all levels are welcome. Leisurely/brisk walkers generally finish in about an hour.

Feb 6 is Super Bowl Sunday…consider this our department “pre-game.” If you are unable to join us, you are still welcome to donate any canned goods. Your participation in this event is completely voluntary. Please pass on this invitation to our extended dept ohana.

February 2, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , | 1 Comment

Former UH Rainbow Football Coach, Bob Wagner, staying healthy

Kamehameha-Hawaii AD, Bob Wagner

I’m certainly glad its football season again as there is nothing I enjoy more than watching my favorite team, the Rainbows, on television.

Even before I graduated from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, I was a huge fan and when I lived on Oahu I attended most of the games at Aloha Stadium.

That is why I was impressed to meet former Rainbow coach, Bob Wagner, who is now the Athletic Director at Kamehameha-Hawaii.

Wagner assumed the Rainbow head coaching job in 1987 and led the team to their first top 20 finish in 1992.  During his tenure at UH Wagner guided the Rainbows to their first Western Athletic Championship and was instrumental in giving the ‘Bows national recognition before leaving in 1995.

At age 63 Wagner looks in great physical shape, I knew I needed to get to know him better so that I could write a Big Dog story about him.

Sure enough this active senior citizen continues to work out regularly and eat healthy.

“I will usually workout five days a week for at least an hour a day,” Wagner said.  “I spend an hour either on a regular or stationary bike and I will do core exercises and stretching three to five days during the week.”

Wagner grew up in the Midwest where sports played a big part in childhood development.

 “I was always playing something each season from an early age,” Wagner said. 

At Newark Senior High School in Newark, Ohio, Wagner became a one sport varsity player and that sport, of course was football. 

“I went to a big high school and then went on to attend Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio where I played both football and lacrosse,” he said.

Wagner credits a lot of his success to the coaches he had while growing up. 

“I was very fortunate to have outstanding high school coaches.  I was even more fortunate in college to play for two coaches who are both in the college football Hall of Fame,” he said.“I really believe that the foundation of having good coaches had a lot to do with my getting involved in physical education and athletics.”

Today Wagner supplements his biking and stretching workouts with water aerobics in the ocean accompanied by some core exercises that basically work the abdominal muscles.

Wagner takes care of his body by eating healthy foods.

“For breakfast, five to seven times per week, I will eat oatmeal with blueberries, walnuts, a banana and flaxseed meal. At least once a week I will have a fish sandwich and a salad at Hokulani’s as they have maybe the best fish sandwich in the state,” Wagner said with a wide grin.

Wagner will also eat healthy by consuming low fat foods, such as fish, some poultry and very little red meat.

“My lunches and dinner meals follow a low fat diet and I will usually include an apple and an orange each day.  I try to stay away from sweets, but will have a dessert every now and then,” Wagner said.

Wagner is a good example of a senior citizen who continues to work at a full and stressful job, but maintains a good balance of exercise and a healthy diet.

“I try to get at least five hours of a cardiovascular workout each week as well as maintaining a core workout and stretching routine,” he said.

Staying active, eating right and maintaining a strong social network all help in leading us towards a healthy and productive lifestyle.

Bob Wagner is one of the many fine examples of people who continue to work full time, yet maintain a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet.

As an athletic director the job responsibilities require much more than a normal 40 hour workweek, which is no easy feat for anyone, especially for those of us in our 60’s.

And what does this former Rainbow coach look for when hiring coaches for Kamehameha?

“A good coach to me is a good person first, one that can communicate and that has passion to help the kids,” Wagner said.  “A good coach is also good for the sport and is smart and brings lots of knowledge and experience.  Pretty much in that order.”

Wagner continues to support Rainbow athletics as he and former UH football coach, Dick Tomey, attended a fundraiser function on Oahu recently.

“I’ve always tried to eat healthy and to stay active most of my life,” Wagner said.  “Because of past knee injuries I have mostly been on the bike for the last 25 to 30 years.  I really believe that this has saved me from having knee replacement surgery.”

I admire Bob Wagner for his contributions he made to my favorite team, the Rainbows, but more importantly for the hard work and dedication he has given over a lifetime to the development of sports.

 “The Rainbows will always mean a lot to me.  From day one I thought of the Rainbows as a melting pot football team, with young men of varied nationalities and ethnic groups coming together.  It brought to mind the Jesse Jackson, Rainbow Coalition where all races could come together as one,” Wagner said.

Our hometown university team has many loyal fans and traditionalist who will continue to call them the Rainbows.  UH football is like Wagner believed, closely associated to Jesse Jackson’s melting pot coalition. 

“America is not a blanket woven from one thread, one color, one cloth,” Jackson said.

Go Bows!

And someday should you happen to see a Rainbows fan come jogging through the streets of Hilo remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.


September 27, 2010 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

High School Cross-Country to get 30% cut at HHSAA


Leileihua Boys were crowned state champions Fall 2008

Leileihua Boys were crowned state champions Fall 2008

I’ve been coaching high school cross-country for over 20 years and have watched the number of participants in the sport grow by leaps and bounds.

    That is why I find it strange that at the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association meeting on Oahu there is a proposal to reduce the state tournament size (not just for cross country, but air rifle and bowling)  by 30 percent as a means of saving money.

    Last year there were nearly 200 cross-country boys and another 200 girls running in the state championship at Hawaii Prep and if the HIADA has their way they will reduce that number by 60 boys and 60 girls.

    In all the years I’ve been coaching cross-country not once has the Hawaii High School Athletic Association ever offered to pay for my runner’s air or ground transportation or for our hotel accommodations.

    My runners at Molokai, Pahoa and Waiakea High School have always had to fundraiser and then their parents had to come up with the extra monies needed to pay for the entire cost.

    Kudos to the Big Island Interscholastic Federation for voting against all state tournament reductions and for them to openly wonder whether the economic and financial reasons given for the reductions would actually help the schools, but instead would leave the athletes as the only ones that would be suffering.

   I applaud Kamehameha-Hawaii athletic director, Bob Wagner, for going on record as being opposed to the reductions by saying, “It’s just really eliminating opportunities for young people.”

   In October 2009 the HHSAA cross-country championships will be held on Kauai, but with 120 fewer runners, and fewer coaches and parents, what will be the economic impact be for that island’s visitor industry?

   (Final decision by the AD’s at HIADA, a day after I posted this story, was to cut cross-country participation at the state championships by 20 percent which still means 40 fewer boys and 40 fewer girls.)

June 13, 2009 Posted by | Editorial | , , , , , | Leave a comment