He’s on the Wolfpack now. But this young ‘perfectionist’ is all Hawaii football at heart
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warrior football team heads to Nevada this week and the Wolfpack roster has a number of Hawaii connections. Among them, a Kahaluu native who’s believed to be the youngest coordinator in college football.
Many players and coaches can claim they’ve grown up around the game of football, but Peyton Yanagi’s journey in the sport is especially unique.
Back in 2009, he worked as the Rainbows Warriors tee returner, sprinting to grab the tee off the field following kickoffs. It was a high-stress position, especially for a 9-year-old.
Turns out he had a knack for succeeding under pressure.
When it came to play, long snapper became his position of choice — a job with no room for error.
“We live in the shadows,” he said.
“The more people know you, the chances are the more you messed up in games.”
And he succeeded in the shadows, attending Saint Louis School, where he won back-to-back state championships.
Next stop: It was the Oregon Ducks, where they experienced conference success.
“For the most part, it’s being a perfectionist and putting all that pressure on yourself so that you can’t mess up. That’s kind of the lifestyle i’ve lived,” he said.
“I’m a perfectionist at heart just because of the stuff I’ve done in my career as a player.”
That rigorous attention to detail paid off with a job out of college — volunteer assistant at Nevada.
After a season in Reno, he landed a position with Tulsa. But after just a few months into preseason camp, he got a call to go back to Nevada as a full-time special teams coordinator.
His colleagues at Tulsa...couldn’t have been more supportive.
“You’re never really ready for the opportunity of taking that next step in your life,” he said. “Just living in the moment, appreciating everything for what it is, just taking everything day by day.”
At 23, it’s believed Yanagi is the youngest coordinator in all of Division 1 football and given his ability to embrace pressure, it’s not too much to handle.
Looking back on it, seems he was meant to lead a team.
Copyright 2023 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.