HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL
Punahou picks Hale to lead basketball team
Moanalua's loss is Punahou's gain.
Punahou assistant athletic director Kale Ane announced yesterday that Dan Hale is the new boys varsity basketball coach.
Hale, who coached at Moanalua for the past two years, was selected from a field of 11. "We had a lot of good candidates, including some from the mainland that we did long-distance calls with," Ane said. "We had a few people in-house who are very good with a lot of experience. Dan kind of tied the whole package together."
Two weeks ago, Hale confirmed that he was a candidate for the position, but preferred to stay out of the limelight.
"I know some of the guys who were up for it, and any of us would have been good choices," said Hale, a 1981 alumnus of Punahou. "I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Ane is pleased with the school's choice.
"We're excited. He brings a lot to the table. I think he relates well to the kids," said Ane, who saw Hale up close when Moanalua played at the Punahou Holiday Classic.
"He understands the pressure the kids are on academically and athletically."
Hale, 43, was honored as the Oahu Interscholastic Association East coach of the year last season. Ane, who is also the Buffanblu football coach, saw a lot in the way Hale mentored his Moanalua teams.
"They have good chemistry. He gets excited and animated like we all do, but he has a quiet, effective style. He has a lot of patience," he said.
Hale, a 6-foot-7 center, played on three state championship squads at Punahou. He was a three-time All-State selection from 1978 to '81. Hale played under three coaches -- Chris McLachlin, Ray Buck and Robin Durand -- in four seasons at Punahou.
"I know what it's like as a player to have a new coach," he said.
He later assisted McLachlin for a season before stepping away from the game for a spell. Now he returns to a program that includes Star-Bulletin Fab 15 selections Miah Ostrowski and Spencer McLachlin -- son of Chris.
"Things kind of came together at the right time for me. I really enjoyed my time at Moanalua. I had a lot of good kids, and there are a lot of good kids coming back, but in the end, it's my roots and where I played," Hale said.
The former University of Hawaii player will be on leave from Moanalua's media learning center, where he is a coordinator.
Hale replaces Greg Tacon, who was released in early March despite a 21-8 season. He was at Punahou for five years.