Hawaii Sports Officials HOF inducts 2019 class


Seven officials, referees and umpires were inducted into the Hawaii Sports Officials Hall of Fame second class at a recognition banquet Sunday night at the Ala Moana Hotel.

The seven inductees were selected based on the criteria of demonstrating the highest level of achievement, character, leadership, skill and commitment to officiating over a significant period of time.

The Class of 2019 is made up of the following individuals (information provided by the HSOHOF):

Louis Fuentes: Over the past 50 years, Fuentes has been officiating youth and high school game and worked 28 years as a college official in five NCAA Division I conferences and two NAIA national championship games in 1987 and 1988. He was also on the NBA staff from 1977–1979 and held commissioner and assignor positions in Southern California and Hawaii.

George Gusman: Since 1974, Gusman became one of the most decorated football officials of the modern era. From 1975–1987, he worked 12 OIA championship games and six Oahu Prep Bowls. He also stared officiating college football in 1986 working the Hula Bowl and then moved to Division I conferences in 1988 (WAC) to 2007 (Big 12/Mountain West). He has worked more than 25 bowl games and an unprecedented two National Championship games (2012, 2015).

David "Koko" Mahukona: Mahukona was a pioneer in early and modern Hawaii basketball officiating. He was among the first to officiate major college basketball in Hawaii and along with 2018 HOF inductee Jimmy Aiona, helped lead and mentored many officials for more than 60 years. He served as a supervisor of officials and co-founded high school associations and the NCAA Summer League.

Herbert Minn: A boxer, coach, mentor and official, Minn was among the most influential figures in Hawaii boxing. He won two Golden Gloves championships, six Territorial championship and served as the boxing coach for the University of Hawaii from 1949–1958. As boxing referee, he worked more than 40 world title bouts in the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Council.

Wayne Ohashi: A former wrestling coach, Ohashi co-founded the Hawaii Wrestling Officials Association when the OIA and ILH wanted to improve the level of officiating. He instituted a vigorous training program and took an active role on Maui and Hawaii Island as well. For 26 years, he was one of the main influencers in the quality of officiating serving as the first president, the NFHS wrestling rules committee and the HHSAA wrestling coordinator.

Joe Ornellas: For more than 40 years he was an influential member of the Hawaii Football Officials Association serving as president for many years and active in all levels from Pop Warner to high school. He was selected as the referee in the first Oahu Prep Bowl in 1973 and worked the many University of Hawaii home games in the 60s and 70s. He was hired by the Western Athletic Conference in 1979 and worked 16 years as a referee, umpire and back judge.

Herbert Paleka Jr.: Born and raised on Molokai, Paleka Jr. was a three-sport athlete at Molokai High School. In 1967, he began his officiating career on Oahu working Police Activities League and various youth baseball games. His career quickly took off when he was recruited to work the Hawaii Major Leagues. He also began working softball from 1971 and rose to leadership positions for the Hawaii ASA. In 1991, he became the first softball umpire from Hawaii to be inducted into the International Softball Federation for slow pitch softball — the highest honor for umpires.

2019 Officials of the Year honorees. CJ Caraang | SL CJ Caraang | SL    Purchase image

Officials of the Year awardees for each sport were also recognized and presented by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association:

  » Ryan Wells - boys basketball
  » Terry Arista - girls basketball
  » Danny Bayne
 - football
  » Michael Fricano
 - boys soccer
  » Kylie Bluemke
 - girls soccer
  » Malcolm Cooper
 - swimming and diving
  » Henry "Hank" Erwin
 - tennis
  » Richard "Dick" Sutton
 - track and field
  » Dickson Chun - boys volleyball
  » Denise Hanson - girls volleyball
  » Mark Massey
 - wrestling
  » Matt Kano - baseball
  » Aaron Lee - judo
  » Kehau Chang
 - water polo
  » Blaise Naehu - softball

Receiving Outstanding Sports Volunteer awards were Loke Huddy and Curtis Chong.

The HSOHOF was founded in 2017 to promote public awareness of officials and their value to sports.

For more information about the HSOHOF, the selection process or to submit nominations for the Class of 2020, visit the website at hawaiisportsofficialshalloffame.org.

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