On Campus: Kaimuki head coach sacrifices mainland career to save alma mater


Imagine setting yourself up for success by the age of 30.

From humble beginnings in Palolo Valley to a UCLA education, all the way to a six-figure job in your favorite city.

Now imagine returning to family for the holidays, seeing your community in dire straits, and deciding to put the life you’ve built on hold to help others.

That storybook is much easier to write in Hollywood than reality, but it’s being lived at Kaimuki High School.

Let’s take a trip On Campus with the Bulldogs, where head coach David Tautofi’s investment in his community is paying off with a trip to the playoffs.

Tautofi is an ex-Bulldog star who played at UCLA and was set to move from Las Vegas to a new lucrative job at a private school in Boston.

The chase of his dreams and goals of success were put on hold. His alma mater needed him more than he needed personal success. As the Bulldog alma mater howls, there’s a spot that ever calls.

It didn’t take long for David to answer Kaimuki’s call. Though taxing to answer, he began to find wealth on an altruistic path.

It’s also successful. The Bulldogs, with just three wins in their last three seasons, rattled off five straight after starting 1-3.

They’re now in the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Tautofi’s goal is to create a base in the classroom, at home, and on the field so that he doesn’t have to see what brought him back home.

So when his players reach their dreams, they can come back when they want to, not when they’re needed.

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