Bill Trumbo hangs it up as AD at Konawaena

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KAILUA-KONA — For the first time in a long time, Bill Trumbo will not be starting school this fall.


KAILUA-KONA — For the first time in a long time, Bill Trumbo will not be starting school this fall.

The Konawaena athletic director announced earlier this week that he will retire on July 8, closing a seven-year stint with the Wildcats.

“It was time,” Trumbo said. “It’s going to be strange when those school buses start to go by. I’ll be like an old firehouse dog when it hears a siren.”

On his lengthy resume as a coach, educator and administrator, Trumbo has been everything from an Otter to an Argonaut, with stops at Sonoma State, Idaho and Santa Rosa Junior College — just to name a few. He is in multiple Halls of Fame and has a contacts list that reaches into the thousands as proof of his journeys.

Locally, Trumbo is known for his time at UH-Hilo and Konawaena.

Trumbo guided the Vulcans’ athletic department through the transition from the NAIA to the NCAA. Along the way, the 2014 Vulcans Athletic Hall of Fame inductee secured corporate sponsorships for various programs, founded and built the Vulcans Athletic Hall of Fame and created multiple top-level collegiate basketball tournaments.

The Wildcats also saw an impressive era of sustained success with Trumbo at the helm of the athletic department, with BIIF and state championship banners in multiple sports being brought back to Kealakekua.

“I tried to stay out of the way, hire good coaches and not micromanage. I believe if you run things the right way, the results will follow,” Trumbo said. “I have always looked forward to work. I will miss it, and all the young people, but will still find other ways to have a positive effect.”

One way will be as the director of the Big Island Sports Academy, a newly formed nonprofit corporation that Trumbo says will be dedicated to the enrichment of educational experience for boys and girls through sports related activities. A focus of the new venture will be to bring more exposure to Big Island athletes, hopefully opening doors to play at the next level.

The organization plans to host camps, combines and possibly tournaments, for everything from cross-country to football and basketball. The objective is to reduce costs for local families and home grown talent that might be unable to afford going to the mainland or to pricey camps.

Big Island Sports Academy will also aid in producing and sending out recruiting videos for Hawaii Island student-athletes.

“A lot of our kids are well suited for Division II or NAIA schools that simply do not have the recruiting budget to come out here,” Trumbo said. “To me, that’s what we are missing. We are so removed here. We want to be able to communicate to coaches on the mainland how good the talent is on the island.”

So while the workload might be a little lighter, Trumbo never sits completely still.


“I can’t run and jump like I used to, but my mind is still working well,” said Trumbo, who is still spry in his 70s. “If you live long enough and keep your mind right, you are able to create and do a lot of things. I hope to still be able to do that.”

For more information on the Big Island Sports Academy, contact Trumbo at 322-9419.