Wil Kimura, longtime Kailua girls soccer coach
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
A quote on the team shirts of Kailua High School girls soccer team reads: "Each day I live, I want to be, a day to give, the best of me," a line from Whitney Houston's "One Moment In Time."
It was a favorite of longtime Kailua High School girls soccer coach Wil Kimura, who died last Thursday. He was 62.
Kimura, who was born Oct. 9, 1947, suffered a massive heart attack, his wife, Amy, said.
Kimura was still coaching the Surfriders soccer team, which was coming off a O'ahu Interscholastic Association White Division championship. Kimura was selected as the OIA White Coach of the Year. He was one of the longest tenured coaches in OIA girls soccer.
Kimura is survived by his wife, daughters, Lori (Mario) Lopez and Lisa (Corey) Kimura and granddaughters Ashley Lopez and Makayla Lopez and Elora Kimura.
Kimura started coaching at Kailua in 1992, when his daughters Lisa and Lori, now 32 and 30 respectively, were joining the program.
"It really kind of started because we had our daughters and he coached them throughout their youth," Amy said. "The idea was that he would coach when our daughters were there, and he never left. He's always had a heart for coaching and it was about the girls and not the game."
Kimura, a retired business analyst with Dun & Bradstreet, got his start in soccer when his daughters did.
"He made a demand they had to play a team sport, and then he walked away," Amy said. "I went down and signed them up and signed him up to coach. I knew instinctively he would be a good coach."
Kimura remained active in youth soccer, as an administrator in Kailua AYSO.
"I respected him and I'm sure he was respected by the whole coaching fraternity," Castle coach Mark Kane said. "He was the best kind of coach, who not only taught the girls how to play, but how to act and behave, and be the best competitors. If his girls were a reflection of who he was, he was a great coach. Every single year, his teams were competitive.
"He was the nicest guy you could meet; very down to earth," Kane added.
It was Kane's Castle team that played the Surfriders the Friday following Kimura's death.
"We decided to still hold a practice Thursday to get them out there and get their minds off of it," Kailua co-head coach Malu Afong said. "I think it really helped them to remember the good things about him. They seemed to be pretty good, they are resilient. But I think they are still in shock. They are continuing to do what they need to do, like he would want it to be."
Afong, one Kimura's former players, said Kimura "was somebody who would teach his players a lot about respect. Everything was about good sportsmanship, wearing your team colors with pride. He always ensured that we carried a good attitude. He always made sure we went out there and played with heart."
A "Celebration of Life" for Kimura will be Sunday, Jan. 3, at 3 p.m. at Kailua High School.