Former big league closer Cordero to coach Iolani softball

Retired big league closer Chad Cordero has been named Iolani School's new softball coach.

Cordero succeeds another former big leaguer, Benny Agbayani, whom Iolani athletic director Eddie Maruyama said resigned after the past season. Agbayani led Iolani to a state title in 2019 and a runner-up finish last year. There were no state tournaments in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID.

Cordero's tie to Hawaii is his offseason club team, the California Bombers. Several players from Hawaii played for him, including Kalani infielder Madixx Muramoto and Mililani alumnus Cierra Yamamoto, a freshman with the University of Hawaii this coming season.

"I have many friends from Hawaii that I've met after coaching their daughters the last couple of seasons," Cordero wrote in a text message. "One of them had mentioned that the Iolani job had just opened and they thought I should apply for it."

He added that had support from coaches from here to apply for the job, one of them being former Mililani coach Mike Okimoto. "He was a huge help in making me feel welcomed and comfortable in taking the job," he texted.

Cordero, 40, spent seven seasons in the big leagues, the first six with the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals and the final season with Seattle. He registered 128 career saves, including an MLB-leading 47 coming in 2005, when he made the All-Star Game. He was the 20th overall pick by the Montreal Expos in 2003 out of Cal State-Fullerton. That same season, he made his major league debut.

Other former big leaguers to be head coaches at Hawaii high schools include John Matias at Pearl City and Damien, and Steve Trout (Molokai), both in baseball.

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].

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