Sunday, August 22, 2004


Avid UH supporter
Woolaway dead at 92

Art Woolaway was an influence
for the UH basketball team for
more than 30 years

A coach. A fan. A gentleman.

Art Woolaway was all that and more.

For more than 30 years, he was a steady influence for the University of Hawaii men's basketball team, outlasting six Rainbow coaches and becoming a very close friend of the seventh.

Yesterday morning, Woolaway passed away while visiting his step-daughter Lori Halderman in McKinney, Texas. He was 92.

"He meant a lot to the state of Hawaii, not just to the university's athletic programs," said Riley Wallace, the UH basketball coach since 1987. "He loved the university, all of its sports programs, but especially basketball.

"He touched a lot of athletes' lives. He was always the gentleman and he was more than a coach, more like a general manager for the team. You couldn't ask for a better supporter and friend to the program."

The team's Most Outstanding Player Award is named for Woolaway, who spent the last several decades as a volunteer assistant and administrator. In 1988, Woolaway was inducted into the UH Sports Circle of Honor.

Arthur Davies Woolaway was born in Honolulu on June 12, 1912. He was a 1930 graduate of Punahou School, a four-sport letterman for the Buffanblu, and the chairman of the first Punahou Carnival in 1932.

He attended Centralia (Wash.) Junior College and the University of California.

Woolaway was asked to join the Rainbows staff by coach Red Rocha for the 1969-70 season. Rocha first got Woolaway involved with UH basketball by asking him to serve as the host for the UH squad in the early years of the Rainbow Classic.

Woolaway soon became a mainstay on the UH bench and went on to help found Ahahui Koa Anuenue, the booster club for UH athletics.

"He was a great lover of University of Hawaii basketball. We couldn't have gotten a better guy than he was," Rocha said.

"It's a big loss for the University of Hawaii basketball team because he loved it so much. It really became a very big part of his life to be involved in it any way he could."

Caught up in the NCAA scandal involving UH athletics in the 1970s, Woolaway was ordered to disassociate himself from the athletic program for two years.

His loyalty never wavered. Woolaway returned and served the program for nearly three more decades.



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