HIGH SCHOOL TRACK & FIELD
Punahou picks Pavich as boys coach
Mike Pavich is Punahou's new boys track and field head coach. But he's a very familiar figure on the Makiki campus, where he is a longtime math teacher and coach in two sports.
He replaces Louis Johnson, who resigned in November after five seasons.
Pavich, 55, is a former Buffanblu head football coach (1981-85). He was also an assistant girls track and field coach, specializing in the weight events, at Punahou from 1982 through last season, helping the Buffanblu to 19 state championships.
He coached three-time shot put state champion Natalie Fujimoto and two-time shot and discus winner Ana Vidinha. Pavich also mentored shot and discus champion DeeDee Akeo at Kamehameha.
The Punahou boys have won 28 state championships, including in 2001 and 2002, Johnson's first two seasons.
But Kamehameha has emerged as a force in recent years, winning three of the last six state titles, including last year's.
"That is going to be a big challenge," Pavich said of unseating his alma mater.
Buffanblu athletic director Tom Holden said having a head coach who is at the school during the day will be a big plus for Punahou. Pavich agreed.
"Being on campus so I can track down the kids when I have to -- that's huge when it comes to organization," Pavich said.
He will oversee the varsity, junior varsity and intermediate boys programs, Holden said, but Punahou is still looking for a day-to-day intermediate coach. Local distance runner Michael Georgi was recently brought on to coach the girls intermediate team, he said.
Pavich said his coaching philosophy is to foster team concepts in an individual sport.
"It's something I stole from (former Punahou girls head coaches) Steve (Link) and Dan (Tuttle)," Pavich said. "It's not an easy thing to do because you have so many different kids and different types of kids on a track and field team."
Punahou's girls, under head coach Duncan Macdonald, won their 28th state championship last year.