After 40 years of football and 35 years of marriage, Dan Lyons decided the timing was right to turn the page to new dates on his calender.
Lyons recently implemented a transition plan that had been on his mind for a few years, stepping down as coach at Kamehameha after eight successful seasons, two BIIF Division II championships and one victory at the HHSAA championships, and handing the reins to Shaun Perry, his former associated head coach.
Lyons said he would remain on Perry’s staff in “whatever capacity Shaun will have me.”
The move became official Tuesday, and Kamehameha athletic director Kimo Weaver confirmed Friday the decision came from Lyons.
“Kamehameha is getting a better coach right now that is more capable of leading the program,” Lyons said. “Shaun is going to be an excellent coach and has an excellent coaching staff.
“He has a passion and desire and motivation to succeed beyond me right now.”
Perry, Lyons said, has been with program for seven seasons, rising from junior varsity assistant to JV coach to associate varsity coach. Perry had a hand in the play-calling duties in 2017, but Lyons held most of the offensive coordinator responsibilities last season as Kamehameha claimed its first BIIF crown since 2014.
“This is how you want a transition to go. We are very good friends,” Lyons said. “I’m excited, and I take pride that I’ve helped Shaun grow and develop.”
He’s remain as the Warriors’ water polo coach and the school’s aquatics director.
His final football season at the helm of Kamehameha didn’t come without its adversity, even before the Warriors fell one-point short against Kaimuki in a state first-round game in November.
The Warriors forfeited the final game of the regular season, only to subsequently learn the move meant they lost home-field advantage to Konawaena in the title game. Kamehameha went on the road to defeat the Wildcats in the final, but Lyons voiced his displeasure with how things went down.
He also has appeared less than thrilled with the new BIIF divisional alignment on tap for this season, in which the three former eight-mans teams join Kamehameha in Division II, while Konawaena and Honokaa move up to Division I.
Still, this move has been a long time coming, he said.
“This has nothing to do with the state of BIIF football or the how things are (at the state level),” Lyons said. “This has everything to do with our program excelling. This is not about Dan Lyons, this is about the program.”
This is also about his personal life.
Lyons said his wife of 35 years, Cynthia, has never known him as anything but a year-round coach.
“She’s used to me leaving before dawn and coming home after dark,” he said. “We’re having a great time getting to know each other again.”