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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 2, 2010

Cho returns to coach Tigers

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

After spending the past 38 years in Oregon, former McKinley High School all-star linebacker Joseph Cho will be returning home to become head football coach at his alma mater.

Cho who graduated from McKinley in 1972 after a standout career in both football and basketball takes over for Bobby Grey, who stepped down as head coach after four years but will remain on the staff as offensive coordinator.

After graduating from McKinley, Cho earned Little All-America honors in football at Willamette University in Salem, Ore., and has been teaching and coaching in Oregon for the past 32 years. He was defensive coordinator for North Salem High School last season but was a head coach at Cascade (Turner, Ore.) High School for eight seasons before that.

Cho also was head coach of North Salem's boys basketball team this past season, which included a visit to Hawai'i for a holiday tournament.

"That's when I talked to (McKinley athletic director) Neal Takamori," Cho said. "He was one of my high school coaches, and he asked me if I would be interested in coming back. It was very intriguing."

Cho, a P.E. and social studies teacher at North Salem, said he is eligible for retirement on June 17 and will make the move home soon after. His older daughter graduated from the University of Hawai'i and lives on O'ahu, his son is a junior at UH and his younger daughter is a high school senior considering UH as her college choice.

"It's almost like I was destined to come back," said Cho, who played for McKinley during his ninth-grade year at Kawananakoa Intermediate.

Cho said he still is seeking assistant coaches. Interested candidates should contact Takamori at 864-5207 or via email at neal_takamori@notes.k12.hi.us

Read his blog on high school sports at http://preptalk.honadvblogs.com.