Toke Kefu has returned to San Mateo High with the hope of inspiring the next generation of Bearcats.

Kefu had a record-setting career as a running back at San Mateo, gaining more than 5,000 yards, breaking Tyreese Knox of Jefferson's San Mateo County and Central Coast Section career rushing record, and leading the Bearcats to the 2003 CCS Division III championship.

Now, after concluding his college career at Eastern Washington University, Kefu has been hired at his alma mater to teach two classes a day and serve as strength and conditioning coach and running backs coach with the San Mateo football team.

"I always wanted to do it, to be a P.E. teacher and coach football," said Kefu, who received his degree in health and fitness from Eastern Washington in June. "I felt I could do nothing but give back for what they did for me. Kids in my situation could go down the wrong path or the right path. I want to help them go down the right path, especially the Polynesian kids. Now they can say, 'He's like me. He made it so I can make it.' I don't want to say I'm the American dream, but I'm someone who might not be the smartest or most athletic guy, but an example of what you can do if you try."