Chad Kauha'aha'a (pronounced Cow-ha-a-ha-a) is entering his second season with the Utah State coaching staff, and is USU's defensive line coach.
In 2009, Kauha'aha'a coached Aggie linemen Junior Keiaho and Levi Koskan, who tied for the team lead with three sacks apiece, while Keiaho, Koskan and fellow lineman Devin Johnson tied for second on the team with 3.5 tackles for loss. Keiaho led the USU linemen and ranked tied for sixth overall with 36 tackles.
Kauha'aha'a came to Utah State after four years at Weber State, helping WSU to a share of the 2008 Big Sky Conference title and advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2008 Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, where they lost at No. 5 Montana, 24-13.
Kauha'aha'a was Weber State's defensive line coach all four years he was there, helping guide the Wildcats to 2.1 sacks per game in 2008, good for tied for 42nd in FCS.
"In my opinion, Chad is one of the best recruiters in the country. He has vast knowledge of recruiting all types of players, especially Polynesian players," Andersen said. "He has also coached in basically the same defensive scheme from working under Coach Clune, so he understands our defensive goals and objectives. He's a young, passionate and aggressive coach, and I'm excited to work with him in making Utah State a great football program."
In 2009, one of Kauha'aha'a's pupils, first-team all-Big Sky selection Kevin Linehan was second in the Big Sky and tied for 16th in FCS in sacks with 10.5 (0.75 pg). Linehan was also fourth in the Big Sky in tackles for loss with 14.5 and second in the league with five forced fumbles. Another first-team all-Big Sky honoree, Bryce Scanlon was 38th in the league with 67 tackles (4.8 pg) with seven and half tackles for loss including one sack.
"I've very thankful for the opportunity that Gary Andersen has given me to coach at Utah State," Kauha'aha'a said. "I'm anxious for the challenge and can't wait to take the Aggies to the next level. While at Weber State, I saw the progress that Utah State has made and am looking forward to being part of Coach Andersen's staff to expand on that success."
Under Kauha'aha'a, the 2007 Weber State defensive line was also greatly successful, ranking second in the Big Sky in overall defense (348.4 ypg) and third in rushing defense (136.2 ypg). Scanlon also earned first-team all-Big Sky accolades, while defensive tackle Derek Johnson and Linehan were honorable mention selections.
In 2006, defensive tackle Rio Stotler earned first-team all-conference honors, while Pate Moleni and Patrick O'Keefe garnered honorable mention all-Big Sky accolades. The 2005 Kauha'aha'a-led defensive line also collected several awards as defensive end Brady Fosmark was second-team All-America and first-team all-Big Sky selection and defensive tackle Shane Barkdull was also a first-team all-conference honoree.
Prior to Weber State, Kauha'aha'a was head coach at Baldwin High School on the island of Maui, Hawai'i, where he posted a 25-5-2 record in three seasons, winning two Maui Interscholastic League championships. His teams finished ranked among the top five in the state each of those three seasons.
Kauha'aha'a was a three-year letterwinner at Utah, playing linebacker in 1993 before redshirting in 1994. Moving to defensive line in 1995, he was a second-team all-WAC selection in 1995 after posting seven sacks as part of his 70 tackles. In 1996, he garnered second-team all-WAC accolades, despite missing three games with a knee injury, leading Utah with six tackles for a loss, including four sacks. He was a two-time recipient of Utah's Walt DeLand Award, presented each year to the Ute football player who overcomes adversity to make a contribution. His 110 career tackles for loss yardage is No. 11 on Utah's career list.
Earning his bachelor's degree in sociology, Kauha'aha'a graduated from Utah in 1996. He and his wife, the former Walene Reyes, have two children, Walter and Chaseten.