[ DIVISION II COLLEGES ]
Chaminade picks Hedlund for athletic director post
Kaia Hedlund had planned to spend her sixth wedding anniversary Saturday in Honolulu with husband Gary Wible.
Instead, she will be spending it with 10 coaches, hundreds of athletes and various athletic department staff members of Chaminade University as the school's new athletic director at a coaches meeting.
"I'm very excited," said Hedlund, the former University of Hawaii assistant athletic director, who was officially hired Monday. "When I interviewed, I told them it's not because I need a job or am doing it for the money. The school is small, with good values and good people. I feel I can make an impact."
The 51-year-old Hedlund, an associate director of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, will oversee the 10 Silverswords athletic programs, including the new women's basketball and men's and women's soccer teams. That the AD position is a "60 percent appointment" (considered part-time) will allow her to continue her work with MPSF, as well as oversee the NCAA women's water polo championship tournament.
"That was what was attractive about the job," she said. "It allows me to continue to do other things. Adding women's basketball and the soccer programs is a big deal, starting from scratch and needing some nurturing.
"And the Maui Invitational (a premier men's basketball tournament) is something unto itself."
For the time being, Hedlund said she will be a dual citizen of Hawaii and Long Beach, Calif., while she and her husband decide about housing arrangements. She is also dealing with the estate of her father Harold, who died a few weeks ago.
The position was not advertised in the NCAA News but was on the Chaminade Web site. The salary range is $25,000-$40,000.
"I have friends who are faculty members and they said Chaminade was very much like a family," said Hedlund, a former associate athletic director at UC Irvine and a Big West Conference special projects director. "I had scheduled this trip months ago, had planned on staying through the Waikiki Rough Water Swim (Labor Day weekend). I have to change plans."
Hedlund is 1977 graduate of USC, where she was a four-year letter winner in swimming. She was at UCI for seven years before working at UH from 1990 to 2000.
She continues to swim competitively at the masters level and is looking forward to resuming outrigger paddling and water polo here.
"My husband lived here for 35 years and went to UH," she said. "We're both water babies. It was always our intention to return to live here."