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Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, November 24, 2000

R A I N B O W _ B A S E B A L L


Nakama apply for
UH baseball job

They are two of five who have
submitted applications to take
over for Murakami

By Al Chase

Five applications, including one from former Hawaii Pacific coach David "Boy'' Eldredge and another from former Hawaii Island Movers coach Dave Nakama, have been submitted so far for the University of Hawaii head baseball coaching position, according to Paula Asato in the athletic department business office.

The job is advertised to begin next July. Rainbow coach Les Murakami, still hospitalized after suffering a stroke earlier this month, had announced that the 2001 season was to be his last.

Current assistant coach Carl Furutani is running fall practice. He said he will not apply for the job.

Candidates have until next Thursday to have their applications postmarked and in the mail.

Hawaii athletic director Hugh Yoshida has said he would like to see the process completed in January and have the new head coach on campus as soon as possible.

Among those indicating that they will apply are Coop DeRenne, Vince Beringhele and Ed Cheff.

Also, University of Hawaii-Hilo head coach Joey Estrella and Bill Kinneberg have said they are seriously thinking about applying.

DeRenne, who expressed his interest in the job last summer, said he will definitely apply next week.

A professor in UH's department of kinesiology and leisure science, DeRenne was an assistant coach with the Rainbows for 11 seasons.

He played collegiate ball at Cal State Northridge and signed with the Montreal Expos, but had a pro career cut short by injury.

He has conducted numerous baseball clinics in the islands the past 10 years.

Beringhele has been an assistant coach at UCLA for 12 years tutoring the hitters, a number of whom have been drafted in the first five rounds.

He was a starting center fielder for UCLA and played three seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers' farm system.

"I think it's a great opportunity, but out of respect for Les Murakami, I want to talk with Carl (Furutani) first," Beringhele said.

Cheff has won 11 NAIA championships in his 24 years as head coach of Lewis-Clark State. His Warriors are frequent visitors to the islands, usually participating in the Rainbow Easter Tourney, and his son, Tyler, was a catcher for Hawaii from 1991-94.

"This is the kind of job I'm interested in," Cheff said. "I never thought I would want to apply anywhere else, but Hawaii is such a special place. It's kind of a new deal for me, but it's a great university with great fans and a great place to live."

His career record at L-C State is 1,162-328 (.780).

Estrella was the Rainbows' starting shortstop in the early '70s, then served as an assistant coach under Murakami for two seasons before starting the UHH program.

"These kinds of opportunities don't present themselves often," said Estrella, the only head coach in the Vulcans' 24-year history.

"I'm very interested. I can apply, go through the process and see what happens, but it is going to boil down to a family decision."

Kinneberg said he has thought about the position for some time.

He is the associate head coach at his alma mater, the University of Arizona.

He has been the head coach at Texas-El Paso, Wyoming and Utah, and an assistant at Arizona State.

He led the Cowboys to five consecutive playoff berths.

Nakama and Eldredge, both Hawaii born and raised, are the two known applicants. Asato did not name the other three.

Nakama just completed his third season as head coach at San Francisco State University.

Before that he was an assistant at Stanford for two seasons and head coach at Mission Junior College from 1991 to 1996.

"I'm absolutely interested and have applied," Nakama said.

Eldredge was head coach at Hawaii Pacific, compiling a 125-79-1 record from 1990 to 1995.

He was an assistant coach at Punahou in 1996, then became recruiting coordinator as an assistant coach on the Loyola Marymount staff for three years.

Last September he was appointed a full-time assistant at his alma mater, Brigham Young, where he handles the pitchers and catchers.

UCLA head coach Gary Adams, San Jose State head coach Sam Piraro, Cal State Sacramento head coach John Smith and HPU head coach Allan Sato said they are not applying for the position.

"I think it's one of the best jobs in the country, but my blood is blue and gold," Adams said.

Piraro, who guided the Spartans to the College World Series, just signed a new four-year contract.

Smith has taken on added duties, having been promoted to associate athletic director, and sees his career heading more into administration.

Furutani wants to spend more time with his family. "I realize I've been kind of selfish in that respect. I think this is the right time to step back from coaching," he said.

Sato thought about applying, but decided against it, and will continue building the Sea Warriors program.

Former pro player Lenn Sakata, a Kalani High graduate, is interested, but has not applied.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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