Friday, March 20, 2015

the toughest jobs in Hawaii sports

Here are the 10 hardest (paying) sports jobs in Hawaii, ranked in order of difficulty:

1. University of Hawaii athletic director: I won't know whether to tell the guy who gets the post congratulations or send him a sympathy card. The pay is good, but is it worth being a public piñata?

2. UH football coach: It's hard to imagine the frustration of so much homegrown high school talent choosing to play elsewhere, year-after-year, no matter how hard you recruit. And, yes, the home-field advantage is good, but it doesn't make up for the toughest road challenges faced by any team in any sport.

3. Kahuku football coach: Even when the Red Raiders win state championships it isn't enough. Ask Reggie Torres.

4. Saint Louis football coach: Cal Lee created an impossible standard, which Delbert Tengan, Darnell Arceneaux and John Hao — all fine coaches in their own right — learned the hard way. Now Lee is back, and word is the Crusaders are loaded for the future. But so is Punahou, Kamehameha and Mililani.

5. Any basketball referee: Officials everywhere of all sports get a hard time. It seems a lot more up close and personal in hoops. I remember a high school game here when a player's mom rushed the court and punched a ref.

6. Coach of any team at Punahou, especially baseball: Another example of bars set so high there is no margin for error. Eric Kadooka guided the Buffanblu to seven state championships in a row. After they didn't win it all in the eighth year he retired.

7. Star-Advertiser sports department editors: Every night — especially weekends in the fall — they perform magic largely unrecognized by the public, defying the laws of time and space to make deadline. Not for one story, for an entire section.

8. UH volleyball coach, after Dave Shoji: Who will have the chops and the guts to follow the most successful college coach in state history?

9. TV news sports director: Rob DeMello, Robert Kekaula and Mark Carpenter get plenty of recognition and perks. But part of being successful at what they do is making what takes a lot of skill look like anyone can do it. They and their staffs work much harder than most people realize.

10. HHSAA executive director: Chris Chun's job is to herd cats, some of them eternally angry with each other.

-- Dave Reardon

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