Riki Takato is Kainan's coach and a contemporary of Ryonan's Moichi Taoka, who is a year older than him. Both of them have known each other since high school, when Takato was known as the "Rookie from Hell" in his first year. He has been responsible to some degree for the team's dominating the Kanagawa Inter High Tournament for the past 17 years. His training regime is so tough that half the incoming players are weeded out within the first week, and more within the first month. After a year, barely a fifth of the new players remain. In the previous year, Takato also coached the team up to the semifinal round of the national championships, which they lost to Sannoh. He is very shrewd, a fact demonstrated by the ease with which he uncovers Sakuragi's prime weakness in the game against Shohoku. He substitutes Miyamasu for Jin, causing Sakuragi to lose focus and Shohoku to lose many points to Kainan. Cool and collected when his team is dominating, Takato becomes very agitated and anxious when pressed, and starts yelling at his players.