Iyomasa was an unsung hero

Saddened to hear of the passing of Aaron Iyomasa, one of the unsung heroes on the local sports and broadcast scene. He had a major hand in the production of UH sports telecasts for decades. A great professional, and a witty and caring guy leaving us way too soon.

I would normally only get a chance to talk with Aaron once in awhile because we’d both usually be busy doing our thing at work. But when we did, he was always such a sincere guy but also super funny in a very smart way.

I particularly recall some really fun meals with him and others in the TV crew at road games. He was a leader among a group of super-dedicated hard-working pros, most of whom lived and died UH sports.

I envied his ability to break down a ridiculous and complicated situation into a few simple, profound words. I got the impression that’s what he was like on the job, too: A problem solver.

And he was genuinely caring for others. Any conversation I had with him always ended with me smiling.

So does this remembrance from Kanoa Leahey. From the time Kanoa was a little kid tagging along with his dad, sportscaster Jim Leahey, he knew Aaron. He then worked with Aaron many years as Kanoa became a voice of the Rainbows and Warriors, too.

“First thing that comes to my mind is how fun-loving he was,” Kanoa said. “Whenever he’d get a chance on road trips to the mainland, he would detour to Disneyland on the way home. We were together on several of those road trips and he would invite us to go with him, but most of the time, we were antsy to get home. So he would often go on his own. It was part of his ‘kid at heart’ personality. We’d chuckle at some of the pictures he’d come back with, of him riding Splash Mountain with an entire row to himself, looking like he was having the time of his life.”


  1. Reid January 12, 2016 2:20 pm

    Goodbye my friend. It was a pleasure working with you and coversing with you outside of work.

  2. The "Favorite" Sister January 13, 2016 8:43 am

    From our family to Aaron’s extended family & friends….thank you so much for all the love and support during these past few weeks. It has been comforting knowing he was getting well wishes from all of you. He will be missed but never forgotten. Although I was able to only meet a few of you while home he spoke highly of all of you for years! As my daughter and I returned to the Big Island last night Aaron sent us a message that he is ok. The moon was out with a tinge of purple – Go Vikings! with the moon only showing the bottom of a crescent forming a smile. Bless all of you – Lorna

  3. babe January 13, 2016 11:49 am

    to my favorite brother~ going to miss you because now I have to do mom’s yard. Looks like you do have a lot of friends and you didn’t even have to pay them to be your friend. Vikings lost their #1 fan. I will cherish the fun memories growing up and the crazy things we did like riding skateboard up and down the street and I had you sitting in the front of the board, so when we crashed I fell on you instead of you falling on me. And you calling in the radio stations and winning so many prizes like 3 surf boards that you were trying to sell to me. My kids will miss their UNCLE MONKEY HEAD. You always said that you were the favorite (GOLDEN CHILD) but I was always the best looking one. Love you and miss you

  4. kapakahi January 13, 2016 11:27 pm

    All of us from the YMCA Summer Youth program days…….right out of high school ’78…….will miss our dear friend forever!

  5. Randy Fonseca January 15, 2016 2:46 pm

    Sorry to lose you dear friend. Thanks for all the great times at the Kalihi YMCA,
    the Thanksgiving Day football games at Kam Field, the camping trips with Tim, Alton, Ray, Gareth, Tony and Herbie at Camp Erdman, and all the other fun stuff we did in the 70’s, You will be missed.
    Randy Fonseca

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