This is what Alika Smith was asked to sign and declined


I, Head Coach of the Boys Basketball Team fully understand and agree to the following expectations set forth by both Principal Susan Hummel and Athletic Director Mark Brilhante.

*I shall Respect the decisions made by the Principal and Athletic Director.

*I shall demonstrate positive coaching by not yelling and cursing during practices and games.

*I shall Respect the Rules, Opponents, Officials, and the team at all times by conducting myself in an appropriate manner.

*I shall be responsible to develop better athletes and better people by teaching them respect and sportsmanship.

*I shall raise the standards of appropriate behavior to eliminate negativity.

*I shall keep cool and respond to situations respectfully setting an example for the players.

*I shall use encouragement and positive reinforcement as my primary method of motivating the student athletes.

*I shall maintain a level of respect that will keep the fun in sports.

*I shall assist players and teach them how to bounce back from mistakes.

*I shall provide a positive character building sports experience for all the players in the Kalaheo Mustangs Basketball Program.

*I shall Communicate honestly, openly and in a timely basis.

*I shall complete and turn in all forms required by the due date. (ex. rosters, schedule of games and practices, facility, fundraising and travel forms and coaches certifications

*I shall Respect the Kalaheo Mustang as the school’s mascot and not use Stang Nation to represent Kalaheo High School.

I agree that if any of the above expectations are not followed to the satisfaction of both, Principal Susan Hummel or Athletic Director Mark Brilhante, I understand and agree that I shall be suspended and/or terminated from my contract with no further contractual obligations by the Principal or Athletic Director.


  1. isleboy June 30, 2015 5:16 pm

    Really…….imagine telling a basketball coach not to yell anymore….
    are u serious….talk about nit picking….Its Mustang not Stang….What?

  2. Kazu June 30, 2015 5:38 pm

    Wouldn’t sign that either. Sometimes that’s the only way you can get the players attention by yelling at them. I guess both the principle and Ad don’t attend practice.

  3. james June 30, 2015 6:03 pm

    You go Alika! I would have resigned, too! They basically were trying to make you sign an agreement that covered their butts, not yours. You have no support there. It is not worth it to keep looking over your shoulder. As a teacher, I am with you! School officials are wimps. They are so politically correct that they believe that doing something in a child’s best interest means doing whatever the child wants and being nice to them. I believe a lot of us have a child’s best interest in mind or we wouldn’t do what we do! Sometimes one has to be firm and demanding to get the most out of someone. If you lost every game, and did all the things on the list, you would still be fired! They are all hypocrites.

  4. Slaya June 30, 2015 6:32 pm

    Looks like a pretty extreme case of trying to micro-manage the head coach. Their goal looked like it was to get rid of him anyway so he did the right thing in quitting.

  5. ken June 30, 2015 6:53 pm

    i think the above agreement should be made universal, and applied to teachers as well. boy, hsta would be in court in a heart beat.

    i think the following should be included in any contract with the president, and other senior executives of the university of hawaii, ie, president, vp, chancellor, ad, all coaches, other employess making in excess of $100k annually.

    “I agree that if any of the above expectations are not followed to the satisfaction of the taxpayers of hawaii, I understand and agree that I shall be suspended and/or terminated from my contract with no further contractual obligations, and financial numeration by the university of hawaii, and the taxpayers of hawaii. go in peace.”

    imua, alika.

  6. amela June 30, 2015 7:45 pm

    I guess Riley Wallace wouldn’t get that job.

  7. par4 June 30, 2015 7:52 pm

    This is a good time to move to the next level. Not much more to accomplish at the high school level. He’s a very talented guy and I would like to see him coaching an elite college team at the NCAA big dance. Very bright future!

  8. Gerald de Heer June 30, 2015 8:03 pm

    Dave, thanks for posting this. The Kalaheo Men’s Basketball Team, coached by Alika Smith, won State Championships in two divisions. To my knowledge, he did not cheat, the student athletes will be graduating on-time, and the teams he coached performed at high levels. My guess is Coach Smith is driven and probably difficult to deal with, kind of like Jim Harbaugh. The only thing guaranteed by this ‘agreement’ is mediocrity. What is wrong with the DOE? Young men who volunteer to play basketball for Coach Smith can expect to be pushed to the limit. Sports build and define character. No doubt every student athlete will face adversity in their lives. The lessons they are learning will benefit all. Obviously Coach Smith loves his players. They respond by winning. If a parent, student, teacher, AD, or principal have a problem with Coach Smith, see him privately, look into his eyes, and find out where he is coming from. Of course, Coach Smith isn’t perfect, but he evidently works on building character that wins; that is why they do. Interesting the word ‘character’ is not mentioned in this ‘agreement’.

  9. Gerald de Heer June 30, 2015 8:08 pm

    Whoa, character is mentioned in the agreement, my bad. “*I shall provide a positive character building sports experience for all the players in the Kalaheo Mustangs Basketball Program.” Still, that goes to my point, note he, if he signs, has to provide character (as they define it). The other signers don’t indicate what they will do, they assume that Coach Smith doesn’t have character.

  10. Warrior Dave June 30, 2015 8:15 pm

    Talk about setting someone up to fail. God luck Alka in your future endeavors.

  11. NorthShoreFan June 30, 2015 9:04 pm

    Guud evening….is this kindergarten? I C Y Alika chose to depart.

  12. NorthShoreFan June 30, 2015 9:05 pm


  13. NorthShoreFan June 30, 2015 9:06 pm

    Guud evening….I C C Y Alika chose to leave.
    Guud luck to Alika

  14. Right Field June 30, 2015 9:13 pm

    I wonder how many other coaches at Kalaheo were asked to sign similar agreements (or could this be construed as harassment by two school administrators). I think someone should start asking around.

    I wonder how many teachers under this principal were asked to sign similar agreements, as well. I think if all of the athletes and their parents should be satisfied, so should the students and their parents.

    Reading the article, the principal is basically saying, “We don’t care if you win as long as we can control you and that the people under you are all happy with you, too.” This is a sad lesson in how NOT to manage an organization.

  15. Dave Reardon June 30, 2015 9:51 pm

    Gerald, I think what you say is probably pretty close to what’s happening here. Pretty sloppy and shabby way of doing business, in my opinion — unless there’s something worse that happened that we’re not hearing about to have caused this.

  16. Kimo Haliniak June 30, 2015 11:52 pm

    Story goes that a veteran coach was in earshot of the Kalaheo locker room during the State tournament and although the coach admitted to using foul language in his coaching days. He was shocked at the level of profanity he heard from Coach Smith.
    That got the ball rolling.

  17. 808warriorfan July 1, 2015 12:27 am

    The parents are to blame … biggest reason why this generation of kids are useless. Bring back old school work ethic !!!!!

  18. 808warriorfan July 1, 2015 12:28 am

    The parents are to blame … biggest reason why this generation of kids are useless. Bring back old school work ethic !!!!! I respect Alika Smith for not signing this BS document …

  19. Amosilatus July 1, 2015 4:16 am

    The Agreement sounds amazingly amateurish.

  20. mctruck July 1, 2015 5:00 am

    Reading the particulars of what the administrators required of Smith, there’s a bunch of rediculous rules which is left for Hummel or Brilhante to freely translate without question. Talk about one sided rules?!
    Since coach Smith has stepped down maybe he can hire lawyers now to intercede and set this matter straight?

  21. Goboy July 1, 2015 6:29 am

    Hypocrisy. Shameful. I bet this principal was one of those that complained that the superintendent wasn’t letting her do her job. Yet, she butts her nose into the coach’s job. Principal should go.

  22. Annoddah Dave July 1, 2015 6:48 am

    DR: The “agreement” is a mixed bag of contractual and code of conduct language. It is easy to see Coach Smith’s apprehension to sign on to this. I guess his common sense told him that this is a lose-lose situation. With all the lawyers in this town, you would think the DOE could have come up with something that was more measurable. Code of Conduct type agreements are more of a “raise your right hand and say I will” deal. Contracts for employment deal with metrics and measurable performance factors in order to set appraisals on a fact basis thus requiring signatures that may impact dismissal for cause. The UH Basketball Coach situation is a good example of how things can get muddled even with the best lawyers viewing binding documents. There has been information alluding to the Positive Coaching Alliance. To my knowledge, this is more of a Code of Conduct approach than a performance contract type deal that Kalaheo makes it out to be. The National Advisory Board of the PCA reads like a who’s who of sport coaching.

  23. 2DaMax July 1, 2015 8:09 am

    I don’t think there’s any coach out there that doesn’t yell, curse, challenge the officials, stand their ground on things that matter and will get the most out of their athletes. Hats off to all of the coaches out there trying to guide and mold our young athletes to be better people like Alika Smith have been doing.
    Smart decision on Alika’s part not signing that lose-lose “BS” contract. Great loss to Kalaheo Men’s Basketball Team, but not only to the team loses, the whole school and community loses.
    Good job Principal Susan Hummel and Athletic Director Mark Brilhante on getting rid of a great coach in Hawaii High School sports.

  24. lowtone123 July 1, 2015 8:13 am

    I don’t know many coaches who would sign this.

  25. Musashi-san July 1, 2015 8:29 am

    I guess and unfortunately for the basketball team, that they will not have an outstanding coach; and they may never get a coach with the “guidelines” spelled out by the principal and AD.

    Gee… I wonder if the principal and AD sign the similar type of agreement?

  26. Retired Niner July 1, 2015 8:47 am

    I think this story totally debunks the credibility of the principal and AD.
    Knew an ex-Kalaheo player who: 1. Started his junior year. 2. Started the beginning of his senior year. 3. Became a non-starter in the middle of his senior year. 4. Went to talk to Coach Smith and was told why he was not starting and what he would need to do to re-earn his spot. 5. Worked his way back into a starting role by the end of his senior season. 6. Ended up realizing his dream of playing in college in large part to Coach Smith picking up the phone and calling his college connections.
    Favoritism? – The kid was a starter and lost his spot. Negative Coaching/Bad Communication? – The kid was told why it happened and what he needed to do.
    If this isn’t a perfect example for what the Positive Coaching Alliance is all about, what is? The Kalaheo Principal and Athletic Director should be made to answer to a higher authority regarding their actions.

  27. Cg July 1, 2015 8:47 am

    My guess is someone complained or just didn’t agree with coach’s style. So vague “agreement” drafted to COA. I’d laugh if he coaches a rival school in Kalaheo’s division….

  28. jimmy July 1, 2015 8:51 am

    Coach smith did the right thing…closer look shoud be directed at the principal and the AD

  29. par4 July 1, 2015 8:54 am

    Coach Smith is an excellent coach and he will shine brightly at the next level. Hope to see him coaching an elite college team at the NCAA big dance. His talent will take him far and his future is very bright!

  30. Cook 'Em July 1, 2015 9:03 am

    #12: Yes, amateurish is right. Written in the pedantic tone used by teachers in kindergarten and elementary school.

  31. jimmy July 1, 2015 9:03 am

    Just read the ridiculous agreement for coach Smith. Doesn’t say much for Kalaheo’s leadership.

  32. ignaciosaid July 1, 2015 9:37 am

    whoa , is this Kalaheo or the (U of H)? —just another case of trying to micro-manage / control of staff (to however the power thinks how things should be done)! Had a lot of that when I was with the University—–My respect goes to Alika Smith–more power to you!

  33. Cg July 1, 2015 10:51 am

    I think he had a choice whether to quit or not, Pupule. He did what he thought best. Lol

  34. Willie July 1, 2015 11:13 am

    Kudos to Alika for standing on his principles and beliefs. Watching him play at UH as one of the best Hawaii grown basketball players was a joy. Got to see the last two D1 championship BB games that he coached. His Kalaheo teams played solid fundamental basketball and displayed great sportsmanship. Sorry to see him go, but understand the decision he was virtually forced to make.

    Things have certainly changed in the high school sports arena as time progressed. My 1st high school coaching stop was in the 1970’s and my last in the 2000’s. Throughly enjoyed the experiences in the 70’s and still have welcomed contact with some of the players. The last two years in this modern area was a mixed bag. One incident with a family of a player not getting playing time was horrendous and I had to endure a falsified personal allegation. Although fully cleared and exonerated, this left a physical wound so deep that I never regretted hanging it up. Some of the parents and players attitudes and expectations were not conducive to the betterment of the team.

  35. William July 1, 2015 11:44 am

    Sounds like Coach Smith held his players accountable, which is good. But everyone is accountable, everyone has a boss. His boss wanted to hold him accountable. I guess he thinks he is above accountability.

  36. Mhmpang July 1, 2015 12:15 pm

    They expect this from the coach and he resigns (good for him).. Now what will happen if they have all the teachers sign something like this? can’t sugar coat sports like other things. as long as your team players become better athletes and better people, because of sports… why fix what isn’t broken?..

  37. st. anthony trojan July 1, 2015 1:01 pm

    This agreement is ok with me…under certain conditions…

    There should be definitions….n not be left up to HUMMER N BRILLO…

    Would have been nice if they went to the DOE first n ask for opinions on
    this matter….if was me… my opinion would be for concentrate on academics… n leave the coaches 4 all sports to the AD…


    Parents are probably in back of the reason this was n is being done…Hummer is buckling under pressure from disgruntled parents is my GUESS…or they will file suit for sumthing or other for their son..who maybe was done wrong in their eyes…

    Seems to me…this is Mr. Bobby Knight kinda deal….would have been nice to have him sign that….he he he (u will be outta here) one way or the other….their intentions are known…

    For me….me is surprised the AD did not quit…before giving Alika that 2 sign….but me is sure he has car payments… n house payments… n must think his family first…

    Be nice to see who the next coach will be… maybe Mr. Arnold…does not his son go to school there n om the team… maybe he had his fingers in there sum place…???

    Next time sumone see him in COSTCO… check his fingers if STANG…oops mean stain….

    GO STANG NATION !!!…one hummer trying to change the culture of the school n how students speak…

  38. Steven Morgan July 1, 2015 1:12 pm

    The comment above from Gerald de Heer, above, pointed to the reason for Ms. Hummel’s list. mediocrity. She is committed to mediocrity (which is unfortunately, what the DOD in Hawaii likes to call excellence) The coach didn’t want to be mediocre. That is foreign to him and I doubt he can understand why anyone could possibly want it, let alone understand why someone would demand it. Two of my children attended Kalaheo High School for only their freshman year. The first one – 13 years ago – I transferred to a different school after I saw what his classes were like by going to school with him one day and attending all his classes sitting in the back of the class room. My youngest child thought she wanted to get her H.S education from Kalaheo and spent her freshman year there as well only it was ten years later and I hoped it had gotten better.
    But it was even worse in some ways because now they think they are really doing a good job and can’t stop slapping themselves on their backs. I knew one of the young men on this last years Basket Ball team and when he said how well they were competing I was shocked. I was surprised that Susan would allow it. It was no surprise at all when I saw how she got rid of the coach. I love how she tried to hide her maneuver by saying its all about the children The “Student Athletes”.

  39. ED July 1, 2015 1:21 pm

    This a BS plan. I mean Behavioral Support plan schools use in schools for kids needing to control behavior, lol Schools have gotten away from the discipline and suspensions and all have to abide by using more positive reinforcement approach. Can you imagine if prisons do that?

  40. Stan July 1, 2015 1:52 pm

    This whole fiasco says volumes about kids today, their parents, and explains why the Hawaii public school system has such a bad reputation. This is probably typical of how the principal manages people. The DOE should ask her some serious questions about who wrote such a petty, ridiculous, and blatantly obvious ulterior motive-driven “agreement.” They are insulting the PCA by claiming the agreement is designed to support PCA standards and ideals.

    There are lots of akamai sports people in Hawaii and Alika will have a new job offer in short order.

  41. Steven Morgan July 1, 2015 4:02 pm

    Sorry, you’re right not to post my comment. I didn’t provide nearly enough evidence to support my negative opinion(s) to allow you to print what I wrote, even as merely a comment on this blog. Thank you for holding to your standards and I appreciate Mr. Reardon for writing the article even if it barely shines light on the actual reasons Coach Smith was fired. (I’m aware that technically he quit)

  42. Come on, Man! July 1, 2015 7:17 pm

    “This a BS plan. I mean Behavioral Support plan schools use in schools for kids needing to control behavior, lol Schools have gotten away from the discipline and suspensions and all have to abide by using more positive reinforcement approach. Can you imagine if prisons do that?”

    i have never seen a worse argument in my life. congratulations.

    from another person:
    “With all the lawyers in this town, you would think the DOE could have come up with something that was more measurable.”

    DOE didn’t write this contract. Kalaheo admin did. Why would the principal hire a lawyer to write a contract and why would Alika Smith hire a lawyer (someone else posted something about this) to fight over a position that literally pays about $600 (maybe) for the entire season?

    this is high school sports. moreover, this is the OIA where coaching positions are almost on a volunteer basis in terms of pay. people do it because they love it, not because they have to feed families and pay mortgages. let’s have some perspective here.

    another person says:
    “Kudos to Alika for standing on his principles and beliefs. ”

    and what are these principles and beliefs? what’s the cause of these philosophical differences and why was it so bad that Alika Smith refused to sign this contract? And don’t talk about vague stuff about “The Parents!” and “kids nowadays are soft!” or “it’s too much positivity! back in the good old days, we would beat kids with whips if they missed free throws!”

    pretty much EVERY generation before has said that the generation after them was a case of “they don’t make them like they used to.”

  43. H-man July 1, 2015 8:18 pm

    My take. I suppose Alika yelled a lot and used excessive profanity. I’m okay with the yelling, not so much about profanity. But his record says he was doing something right. Discipline is important. Building teamwork is important. Y0u need these to build a winning program. Sounds like Alika did this. But it appears Kalaheo administration and Alika could not see eye to eye. But presenting him this agreement was not the right way. They simply should have asked him to step down.

  44. Daryl Whitney Jr July 1, 2015 10:49 pm

    I cannot imagine the loss to the school and the student athletes at Kalaheo. This is a man who has a coaching heritage. Played in on a UH team that was one score from going to NCAA tournament. The students would have seen his heart, his desire and work ethic. More importantly, the students would have a real live breathing symbol of excellence. Smith simply by conveying his expectations would have motivated young hearts to go beyond his experience.

  45. Just Curious July 2, 2015 1:45 pm

    Why is Kalaheo been singled out? If this is the policy, it should be for the entire DOE. Then the emphasis is on participation and not winning. That would make all teams on equal footing. This is like taking a huge step backwards and taking competition out of the picture.

  46. Morris Buttermaker July 2, 2015 3:10 pm

    After agreeing to comply with all of the conditions set forth by the over-reaching Principal and A.D. The last line of that contract should read: * I shall lead a mediocre basketball program that will no longer reach the level of State Champions while adhering to the above stated conditions.

  47. kalaheo alum'76 July 2, 2015 3:47 pm

    Speaking as a Kalaheo alumnus, I’m very sorry to see Coach Alika Smith leave the program. He did an outstanding job, and I wish him all the best. While I would agree that high school coaches should not be cursing while on the job, particularly at the student-athletes, they should still be allowed sufficient latitude and personal discretion to maximize the team’s potential for success. Isn’t that why we hire coaches in the first place?

    Now, that said, I’m sure I’m not the only alum who has gritted his teeth every time I heard announcers call the team “the Stangs” and reference “Stang Nation.” (Which sounds like “Stagnation,” but I digress.) The name of Kalaheo’s athletic teams is “the Mustangs,” and it has been so for 42 years. Coach Smith and current players and students had no right to unilaterally decide otherwise.

    If some people are indeed tired of the name and would like to change it, I’m not necessarily opposed to the idea. But there’s a proper way to accomplish that. This is something we should first discuss publicly, in order to determine whether there is in fact a real consensus amongst students, alumni, faculty (both current and retired), and community members to change the team name of “Kalaheo Mustangs” to something else.

    But until that consensus is achieved, school officials cannot allow current coaches, players and students to just change the name of the team on their own and at their whim, simply because it suits them to do so. And there are good reasons why that policy should be so.

    First of all, part of the enjoyment of school sports is the idea of maintaining traditions that can link and bond past, present and future generations of students, players and teachers to one another. But more importantly, contemporary tastes and patterns of speech have a remarkable tendency to change over the years, sometimes abruptly so.

    Therefore, it’s extraordinarily shortsighted to just change a team’s name in order to reflect present-day vernacular. Sure, “Stang Nation” may sound cool now to current Kalaheo students. But ten or fifteen years from now, future students might well be rolling their eyes at its very mention, the way we did in the 1970s whenever we heard adults use the ‘60s word “groovy.”


  48. kalaheo alum'76 July 2, 2015 4:20 pm

    @ Dave Reardon: I respect Coach Smith’s decision to not sign this document and walk away, if he felt that he could not abide by its terms. But upon giving that document a second reading, I think your second sentence hit the nail on the head. The provisions in that proposed code of conduct may well have been drafted in response to something which happened internally within the boys’ basketball program, the details of which we are presently unaware.

    I remember when Kalaheo Principal Moss Ikeda fired then-Coach Merv Lopes back in 1977-78 immediately following a game, after Lopes had apparently defied Ikeda’s directive to not play a certain player who had been suspended by the school administration. It created a huge uproar on campus and in the Kailua community at the time, but in obvious retrospect and with the benefit of hindsight, it’s pretty clear that Ikeda did the right thing. The principal sets and implements school policies, not the basketball coach.

    In that regard, we might do well to remember what the late sportswriter Heywood Broun once said about the subject: “Sports do not build character; they reveal it.”

  49. J. Arthur Rath III July 3, 2015 12:21 pm

    None Sense At Kalaheo High
    “Word Play” by sports columnist Dave Reardon is at work in today’s column about the demands made on Kalaheo’s coach of basketball champions. There was objection to modern branding by “Hummel and Brilhante”–who didn’t act the way their names sound. “Gelding” is an outcome of ranching branding and their silly complaints made Coach of Champions Alika Smith decide to get out intact (sic).

    His problem was being “trendy” making Coach Smith closer to modernity than the “Humble and Brilliant.” Higher education, not the local high school, is more on the ball: Case in point–I remember when “‘Cuse”—one syllable– became the jazzier name for a Syracuse (three syllable) basketball team. Oh yes, and a “Fruit” became the mascot (a cute, jolly Orange—the school’s color) ran about making folks cheer—replacing an Indian Warrior with a hatchet.

    Change and modernity is a hard thing for some administrators to swallow—its easier to exercise power and “out” the coach. Thanks to Mr. Reardon for this interesting perspective on local high school life

  50. pollypicador July 6, 2015 4:43 am

    Who/Whom leaked this information?

    Smith? School? Other?

    This information can be an albatross around Smith’s neck, especially when he applies for his next coaching job. (It raises so many questions..maybe red flags about his coaching and integrity that may need deeper scrutiny. Yes, just because he didn’t sign the agreement).So I would think smart thinking would have been for Smith to keep/want his reasons for leaving personal/private.

    If the school or other entity leaked this information Smith should seek legal advice imo.


  51. Merv Lopes July 21, 2015 6:44 pm

    Aloha Dave,
    Just for the record-
    This is from the horses mouth; information made by the Kalaheo alumni 76 is incorrect. Coach was suspended for insubordination; Coach resigned (fired?) The incident with Principal Ikeda and the Basketball Coach is inaccurate regarding the student player. He was not a suspended player. On the eve of the game in the parking lot , Mr. Ikeda informed the Coach he was not to play X player and the reason was ‘he had irratic attendance.’ There had been no communication regarding the X player ever; This was done one hour prior to the opening game of the season. Thank you Mr Ikeda!

    The rest is History

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