Legendary Farrington Player & Coach Skippa Diaz
A Hawaii sports legend has left us. Former football standout and coach, Edward “Skippa” Diaz has past away on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at the age of 70. He is no doubt best known as the former head coach of Farrington Governor Football. He was an inspiration and mentor to all past players, coaching staff, and former teammates.
Skippa Diaz grew up in Kalihi, Oahu, Hawaii. As a young boy he was too big, too heavy to play Pop Warner youth football. Not being able to play football Diaz joined the Palama Settlement Swim Team. He quickly became one of the best swim sprinters. Even though he was a large kid, one big bumboocha he was a butterfly champion at the age of 10, first place in his age group. Diaz also went on to become an age group title holder with championships in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle.
Once Diaz got to the 9th grade he was able to play football. He experienced his first gridiron football action on the Farrington Governor Junior Varsity. That was all he needed to know his calling. Diaz went on to become an Interscholastic League of Honolulu All-Star lineman. Farrington played in the ILH in those days. He went on to play college ball at Oregon State where he held All-Pac 10 Conference Defensive Tackle Honors.
His college football career enabled him to move onto the professional level, in Canada. He played in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the British Columbia Lions (BC Lions) from the mid 60s to early 70s.
In 1972 Diaz retired from the CFL returning to Hawai’i to teach and coach at Waialua High School then to Mililani. It was 1982 when Diaz landed his dream job as a teacher and head football coach at his hometown’s Farrington High School.
In his 17 years as a head coach Diaz’s teams won 103 games and made the playoffs 12 times, including nine years in a row (1990-98). Part of his football coaching legacy is the pride he instilled in the Governors. He implemented a Farrington tradition of having players sing the school’s alma mater before every practice and game. Coach Skippa Diaz retired in 1999.
May he rest in peace.