Furtado: decision can wait


POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

For now, Chico Furtado is content to remain at Kalaheo as boys basketball coach. Though there was a buzz at the state tourney about his possible retirement, he says it's business as usual.

“;At this point, I'm not making any decisions. We're planning our summer league,”; said Furtado, who has been involved with the boys and girls programs at Kalaheo for 19 seasons.

“;I'm very protective of this program. I'm not walking away from it without at least having some recommendations about who takes over, though that doesn't mean the administration will or will not listen to me,”; he said.

Furtado pointed to former players who have coached briefly, like Scott Kato, who would be capable candidates. Former standout guard Alika Smith, a former UH assistant, probably would prefer to coach at the college level, Furtado said. Another former star, Ryan Hogue, would step in smoothly, he added.

“;Alika has bigger plans (than high school), eventually. Ryan would be the guy to be the coach, but he wants to be an athletic director,”; Furtado said.

Furtado makes no secret that he's always been interested in coaching women's hoops at the next level. He's had conversations with his alma mater, Chaminade, in the past, as well as Brigham Young-Hawaii before Wendy Anae was hired. He also applied at HPU before Jeff Harada was hired.

If he departs and isn't in the college ranks a year from now, Furtado has other ambitions.

“;My grandson lives with me and I spend a lot of time with him,”; he said. “;I'm the one who takes him to his practices.”;

Furtado and Kalaheo AD Lewis Fuddy have a good relationship, so there's no rush.

“;When it comes to big decisions, I always process through,”; he said. “;Despite the downside, there's been a lot of good times and relationships with people.”;

Furtado's 808 Select girls basketball team is still in place, he added.


Coaches balk at format

Among the coaches who submitted proposals at Monday's Oahu Interscholastic Association boys basketball evaluation meeting were Furtado and Kailua's Tim Harrison.

Furtado got the support of his peers when he questioned the need for a double-elimination playoff format. Mililani, he said, lost three players to injury because of the rugged scheduling. Some teams played four games in five days during the peak of the tourney. He also cited constant travel, lost practice time and a lack of time for student-athletes to study as other key factors.

Harrison, who guided his team to the Division II state crown last week, asked why the league places wins and losses into the formula that separates its D-I and D-II teams. He cited the philosophy of the National Federation of High Schools, which puts a lower priority on winning.

“;I agree with him,”; Furtado said. “;High schools are supposed to be for building character and fair play, and should have very little to do with winning and losing. Yet, our entire system has to do with winning or losing,”; Furtado said.

Several coaches agreed that each school should have the final say in whether to remain in Division I. Harrison's team was demoted to D-II before this season, a decision that did not sit well with him and his players.

“;Why are we making a power rating, including junior varsity?”; Furtado asked.

The OIA is the only league in the state that does not factor enrollment into its classification criteria.


Fehoko picked for bowl

The initials in his first name don't stand for “;vacation junket.”;

For V.J. Fehoko, a trip to Orlando, Fla., for the Under Armor All-American Bowl next January will be all business. The Farrington junior defensive end accepted the offer to play after hearing some sound advice from Manti Te'o.

“;Manti said it's a great bowl game to go to,”; Fehoko said. “;I'm proud to represent Hawaii.”;

Last year, Te'o was named Star-Bulletin defensive player of the year after helping Punahou win the Division I state title. The Notre Dame-bound linebacker played in the bowl game along with teammate Robby Toma and Kapolei offensive lineman Stan Hasiak.

Fehoko was a big fan of the exhibition game last season.

“;I saw it last year on ESPN all week,”; he said of the pre-game hype. “;You get coached by a lot of NFL players and coaches.”;

Fehoko's initials are for Vili Junior.