A Shared Gift for Soccer

Department: Athletics

By Kale Ane ’71, Associate Athletic Director
Head Football Coach

Some gifts arrive wrapped in ribbons and bows. Others do not. For Punahou's Intermediate Boys and Girls Soccer players and their parents, one of their most cherished gifts is the husband-and-wife coaching team of Jo Ann and Tuitoga Moe.

For 25 years, Jo Ann and Tui have shared their passion for soccer with literally thousands of Hawai‘i children. The couple has fine-tuned a special style of coaching that emphasizes player development, sportsmanship and self-empowerment. Prior to joining the coaching staff at Punahou in 1989, the Moes developed programs and led nationally recognized tournaments for both the American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) and the Hawai‘i Youth Soccer Association (HYSA). They have contributed to the soccer development of children from East Honolulu to the Wai‘anae Coast for over three decades.

Jo Ann and Tui serve as role models as coaches and as parents. At a time when superstar contracts and team scandals tend to overshadow the core values and benefits of athletics, the soft-spoken, unassuming couple continues to create a positive and competitive environment for their players. They are true unsung heroes at Punahou.

Jo Ann joined the Physical Plant staff at Punahou in 1989, just one year after Tui. Both continue to work at Punahou today, supporting campus activities during the day and coaching soccer after school. In 1999, Jo Ann received the YWCA Outstanding Achievement Award and in 2004, KSSK Radio named her Coach of the Week. Jo Ann, of course, humbly prefers that the spotlight remain on the students and on the task of coaching.

The Moes raised four children: Tui Jo ’95, Tau Jason ’97, Mia ’99, and T.J. ’01. Daughter Tui Jo, a two-time Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) Soccer Player of the Year, became the first female to play (and score!) in Varsity Football in Hawai‘i. Her sister, Mia, played soccer for Punahou and then for Loyola Marymount University, earning All-West Coast Conference honorable mention honors in her freshman year. After earning first team honors in the ILH, son Tau went on to play soccer for the Sea Warriors at Hawai‘i Pacific University, while T.J. completed high school at St. Louis and continued his football career with the University of Hawai‘i Warriors.

Every fall on Middle Field, the Boys and Girls Intermediate teams practice their footwork, build cardio endurance, scrimmage, and prepare for the competitive ILH season. Jo Ann and Tui Moe are there guiding them every step of the way. Their quiet emphasis on skills development, teamwork and responsibility instill in the young athletes a confidence that moves them closer to becoming adults of character.

While gifts may come in many shapes and sizes, the Moes represent a gift to Punahou and to the soccer community that is the rarest of treasures: one that needs no wrapping at all.

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