New Coaches Ready To Rev Up Red Raider Soccer Teams
A smooth transition can be expected for both the Kahuku High boys and girls soccer programs with new leadership next winter.
Kahuku took the “in-house” route recently when choosing head coaches for both, turning to longtime assistants Robert Ah Puck and Jay Hix to lead.
“I’m pleased that coaches Ah Puck and Hix will be leading our soccer teams and exposing these student-athletes to high levels of play, teamwork and academic opportunities beyond high school,” stated principal Pauline Masaniai.
Ah Puck had been a boys assistant for six seasons, most recently under outgoing head coach Richard Oei. Oei’s tenure during that time produced OIA Division II titles in 2008 and 2012.
The Red Raiders, who were promoted to Division I following the 2012 season, went 8-5 this past winter.
Au Puck also spent 11 years as an AYSO coach, including its advanced league.
A graduate of both Kahuku High and Laie elementary schools, Ah Puck also officiates and was selected as AYSO’s regional Outstanding Youth Referee in 2012 and 2013. He earned top honors as AYSO’s Coaches’ Administrator for his Oahu section.
“I’m here because I know I can make a difference,” stated Ah Puck. “Kahuku High is not known for soccer and college opportunities that are tied to soccer. I want to take it to the next level and help the kids further their opportunities.”
Hix has been a fixture in the girls program for the past seven years, serving as an assistant coach for both the JV and varsity teams.
He helped lead the U12 girls AYSO team to the national championships in Chicago in 2006.
While Hix was varsity assistant, Kahuku took third place in the DII state tournament in 2011 and also made an appearance at states in 2013. The Red Raiders went 8-3 this past season but was eliminated from the state tourney by Aiea in the first round of the OIA playoffs.
As a player, Hix competed at El Camino College, where he helped the Warriors claim a California state title.
Among his own coaches were Major League Soccer’s Sigi Schmid, Norm Jackson, Jim Millinder and John Britton.
Hix also coached soccer at BYU-Hawaii, in addition to baseball with the local Little League program and at Kahuku High. He also umpires baseball for the OIA.
“I’m ready to lead the girls to the Promised Land,” Hix said. “Kahuku has a lot of great athletes, but we’re not known for soccer. I’m ready to change that.”
A Kahuku resident, Hix owns and operates Island Extreme Smoothies.