ST. GEORGE – Sometimes people are famous for their looks, their voice or their athletic prowess. Kolei Maile, who passed away on Christmas morning, was well-known around southern Utah for his tremendous capacity to care.
Maile, the offensive line coach for the Pine View football team, was the picture of health a month ago. But he felt sick during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and was hospitalized. Kidney and liver failure ultimately took his life on Dec. 25.
“I really feel like he was one of those people that was so good, so angelic, that he was put here on this earth straight from heaven just to love people,” Pine View head football coach Ray Hosner said. “No matter the situation, no matter the score or the outcome, he was always so positive. He just loved everybody.”
Maile, who was 46-years-old, was in his fourth year of coaching at Pine View High School, but had also coached the younger teams feeding into Pine View before that. His son, Brooks, is a junior at Pine View and has already committed to play football at Brigham Young University after his high school career is over.
“I remember the first time I introduced him to the team, he came out and did a little dance and I thought ‘Oh man, this guy can’t dance,'” Hosner said. “But then he busted out his real moves and I was like, Wow! I think from that moment on, the players loved and respected him. I always say I’m not the funnest guy. But he was.”
Maile, who has four children (Brooks, Tori, Dylan and Drake) played football at Dixie State and met his wife, Nisi, at DSU. Kolei and Nisi were married in the St. George temple in 1996.
An outpouring of love and affection for Maile flooded the internet through Facebook and Twitter after news of his passing spread.
“The good ones always go too early. Thoughts and prayers to the entire Maile Family,” Tweeted Desert Hills coach Carl Franke.
“We will miss you, coach,” from fellow Pine View assistant coach Chris Brinagh, was also Tweeted and the hashtag #mailestrong was trending locally as friends and family learned of the tragedy.
Along with coaching, Maile also worked for the state in the outreach program “Team R.A.W.,” where he worked with troubled and underprivileged youth.
“All those kids he worked with, they loved him, too,” Hosner said. “He just had that way of touching everyone. I guarantee there will be thousands at his funeral because he impacted so many lives. I think we’d all be lucky to have such an influence and impact on so many people’s lives.”
One of those he impacted, Victor Soto, posted on Facebook:
“Three years ago, I was passing through life without a purpose, until three of the best, hard-working men came into my life. They showed me the path to find my passion and to find my purpose in my life. Those three heroes of mine are Josh, Bear and Kolei. Today, I woke up with the most worst news I’ve heard … one of my father figures has passed away … I love you so much Kolei! … I promise that you will be in my heart, and you will never be forgotten. It’s because of you I am the young man that I am today. I am grateful for everything TeamR.A.W. has taught me.”
Singer Junior Maile, Kolei’s cousin, dedicated his latest song, “When I’m Gone,” to Kolei.
Maile was born in Salt Lake City and was a star athlete at West High School. He served a mission in Guam and was a lifelong and avid BYU fan.
A fund-raising page has been set up by a family friend to help the Mailes with their expenses and can be found here.
- Funeral services will be held Saturday, Dec. 30, at 11 a.m. at the Bloomington 9th Samoan Ward Manzanita LDS Chapel, 3519 Manzanita Road, St George, Utah.
- A family viewing will be held Friday, Dec. 29, at the chapel from 4-6 p.m. and a public viewing from 6-8 p.m.
- Family prayer will be on Saturday Dec. 30, at 9:30 a.m. at the chapel prior to services.
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