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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Isle football legend Charlie Ane dies at 76

Isle football legend Charlie Ane dies at 76

By Dave Reardon

Charlie Ane, one of the best football players to come out of Hawaii, died Wednesday night of pneumonia. He was 76.

Ane was a multi-sport star at Punahou. He went on to play football at USC and earned All-Pro honors as a center with the Detroit Lions, for whom he played from 1953 to 1959. He also played right tackle for the Lions.

Frank Gifford was among his USC teammates, and Lions teammates included Bobby Layne and Doak Walker.

After his playing career, he returned to Hawaii and worked at Hawaiian Electric and was a longtime high school coach. He coached at Punahou, Damien, Radford, Kaimuki and St. Anthony.

"He was very demanding. It was hard," said his son, Kale, who played at Punahou when Charlie was defensive coordinator. "But when I look back on it, he helped me understand the game better. I was fortunate to learn from someone who knew the game so well. He taught me to not be afraid to make mistakes and to be prepared as best I can."

Kale Ane, also a center, went on to Michigan State and a seven-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs. He is now the varsity head football coach at Punahou. In 1999, Charlie Ane accepted his son's offer to be offensive coordinator at Punahou and held the post for several seasons.

"He loved coaching, loved the challenge of getting kids to work together," Kale Ane said.

"The most difficult thing is coaching your own son," Charlie said at the time.

"The second-most difficult thing is remembering my son is the head coach and I'm the assistant."

Charles Ane Jr. was born in Honolulu on Jan. 25, 1931. He is a member of the Punahou, USC, Detroit Lions and Hawaii Sports halls of fame.

In addition to son Kale, he is survived by wife Marilyn, son Neal, daughter Malia and seven grandchildren. Marilyn is the youngest daughter of former Honolulu Mayor Neal Blaisdell.

Services are May 28 at the Punahou chapel. The time and other details are not yet set.

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