Soccer Coach Heu Touts Successful Mustangs As Legacy
Frequently during his 15-year run as Kalaheo girls head soccer coach, Alan Heu could look at OIA standings and be pleased with his team’s position. He could take even more pride in his players’ individual accomplishments, to hear Heu tell it.
“I don’t think (the won-lost) record is the legacy,” said Heu. “Hopefully, it is the players who have gone on.”
Indeed, in recent years, Heu’s program has sent several players to prominent schools, including Breton Frazer (MIT), Monique Ishikawa (Columbia), Mayumi Ishikawa (USC), Kahili Cheng (Wisconsin), Laukii “Lucky” Cheng (Wisconsin) and Carol McAllister (Chapman University).
On the field, the Mustangs made eight State Tournament appearances (four each in Division I and DII) and were OIA White champions in 2014. His 2002 Lady Mustangs team took Mililani to two scoreless overtimes in the OIA title game before succumbing in a shootout. Heu’s current team, which had been promoted to Division I in the off-season, was 2-5-1 heading into its last game of the season with Castle last Wednesday.
For Heu, there was no direct line to coaching.
“When I was in high school, soccer was just beginning here and we used to play it in P.E. class,” said Heu, a 1968 Kailua High graduate. “I didn’t like it. I couldn’t see running after a ball for X amount of minutes.”
When Heu enrolled his oldest daughter Kelli in AYSO, he soon found himself coaching.
Heu spent five years at Kamehameha coaching intermediate and junior varsity programs prior to his arrival at Kalaheo, in addition to his long association with AYSO. He had applied for the Kalaheo job once before actually being hired in 1999.
“(Retired athletic director) Lee Cashman gave me my chance,” said Heu. “Everything fell into place. It’s been a good run, that’s for sure. We’ve had our ups and downs, but the good has always outweighed the bad.”
Heu found a coaching mentor long ago in John Ouellette, whom today he calls his “best friend.” Ouellette is a former AYSO national coach, who was charged with putting together the organization’s national coaching program.
“We’re on the phone at least once a day during the week,” said Heu. “He was my mentor. I went to a lot of his workshops and learned a lot of soccer through him. I live by what he says.”