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Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, March 24, 2000

W A H I N E _ T R A C K

UH logo

UH begins
search for women’s
track coach

The list has been pared to 10
after the sport was added
to the program

By Pat Bigold


An original field of more than 80 candidates for head coach of the University of Hawaii women's track and field program has been whittled to 10.

UH women's athletic director Marilyn Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano said "almost all" of the finalists have Division I coaching experience.

She said the salary range is $33,000 to $60,000, but is negotiable. In confirming at a press conference yesterday that women's track would be brought back to the Manoa campus for the 2000-2001 season, UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida said the target date to hire a coach is the end of next month.

The program, which will encompass both outdoor and indoor track as well as cross country, will compete in the Western Athletic Conference.

Hawaii had an intercollegiate women's track program from 1972 through 1984. It was replaced by softball in 1985.

The program featured national standouts like 1984 NCAA long jump champion Gwen Loud. Loud, who is a coaching applicant, said last night she's "thrilled" to hear the program will be revived.

"I was really sad when it ended," said Loud, who graduated in 1985. "Hawaii has a mystique about it. The program can work out there."

Loud has been an assistant coach at UC Irvine, Long Beach State, and Fresno City College.

Yoshida's announcement ended speculation over whether the athletic department would implement a track or outrigger canoe paddling program to stay on schedule with its Title IX compliance plan.

In a Feb. 15 Star-Bulletin story, Yoshida said that because of the substandard condition of the Cooke Field track, outrigger canoe paddling had become a possible alternative to track.

But Yoshida said that he based his final decision upon the recommendations of a Title IX consultant the department hired earlier this year for $20,000, discussions with other athletic directors, and other concerns about a paddling program.

Yoshida said that paddling remains a serious consideration "down the road" because it is a sport indigenous to Hawaii.

But he said that track could quickly increase female participation in athletics at UH from 41 percent to 48 or 49 percent.

Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano, attending the NCAA men's swimming championships in Minnesota, admitted that the disrepair of the Cooke Field track is a major concern.

But she said she hopes to find the funds to repair the pot-holed track surface within the $20 million budget for repairs and maintenance.

"We have to re-prioritize our projects," said Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano.

She said that she was told by Teri Wilhelm Chang, assistant athletic director for facilities and events management, that $660,000 might be enough to install a new track surface that would last three to five years.

"We need to repair our track so it can be competitive," said Yoshida.

"I'm not sure we can get it done. It's an administrative decision that will be made on the upper campus."

Yoshida said that alternative solutions have been reviewed, such as moving practice and competition off campus to high school tracks.

Yoshida said that $80,000 has been earmarked for recruiting and hiring a head coach and another $400,000 is projected for the first competitive season.

He said there will be 10 to 15 scholarships made available.

But Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano said it's very possible that UH will not compete in several events during the first year of the track program.

Due to current lack of facilities, competition in the hammer throw, pole vault, steeplechase, shotput and discus might have to be delayed a year.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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