MADISON - After spending five seasons as a defensive back and linebacker at Wisconsin, James Kamoku is putting the pads away and picking up the clipboard as an assistant football coach at Madison’s East High School. Kamoku, a Kailua-Kona, Hawaii native, will be the Purgolder’s defensive backs coach entering the 2008 season.
“I am really excited to be a part of the Purgolder’s coaching staff,” said Kamoku. “I have always wanted to be a coach and this is a great opportunity for me to stick with the sport I love.”
The former Badger is currently an assistant coach with the East High School track and field team, a position that has helped him get his feet wet coaching at the high school level. He will be a big part of the team’s conditioning program starting later this summer.
Dennis Hill, East High School’s head coach, was more than pleased to have a guy like Kamoku on his staff.
“James was recommended to me by a former student here at East and with a position on our staff opening up, I was more than happy to meet with him,” said Hill. “I was extremely impressed with his demeanor, attitude and knowledge of the game when I interviewed him and am sure he will do a great job with our kids this fall.”
Kamoku earned four letters as a Badger, playing on special teams and as a reserve defensive back and linebacker. During fall camp, before his senior campaign, Kamoku sustained a season-ending knee injury and found himself on the sidelines watching the 2007 season. He then made an unexpected return to action during bowl game preparations and played on special teams one last time in the 2008 Outback Bowl.
“After playing the game for so long and spending time with the coaches at Wisconsin, I have learned a lot about the game,” said Kamoku. “I love working with kids and they are excited to have a coach that is a little younger and can relate to them, while teaching them about the game at the same time.”
Coach Hill had the opportunity to talk with UW head coach Bret Bielema and assistant coach Bob Bostad prior to the hiring and received nothing but high marks about James.
“He is a great guy to have around our kids and around our program at East,” said Hill. “He is such a loyal guy and does everything the right way. We are all very excited to have him on our team.”