New UH athletics director Angelos pledges support for prep sports

LIHUE, Kauai — There was no way that Craig Angelos was going to miss this.

On just his third day on the job, Angelos, the new athletic director at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, made it a point to be at the 62nd annual Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association Conference, where he served as the keynote speaker at an awards dinner Wednesday night. 

Angelos addressed the crowd of more than 100 athletic directors at the Royal Sonesta Resort — the conference venue this week — and expressed his appreciation for the job that the high school administrators perform. 

He took some time to chat with ScoringLive after the dinner's completion. 

"I just feel a real kinship here with all the people who are doing the same job I'm doing," Angelos said. "I'm at the college level, but they're at the high school level, which I think is much harder than at the college level because the resources at the high school level just aren't the same."

He went on, "They're doing everything and then they got a lot more young men and women to worry about, so I just felt that these are my brothers and sisters in the industry and I wanted to be a part of it and wanted to let them know that I support what they're doing and want to work with them and hopefully we can interact together and get as many events as we can on campus and get their student-athletes on campus, get their students coming to school at UH and just really work together as a family."

Since his first day on the job Monday, Angelos has had no shortage of duties to attend to. 

"We had a reception Sunday night with a donors that the president threw for me, so that was fantastic and then we hosted on Monday and Tuesday the Mountain West (Conference) meetings with all the presidents and athletic directors there so it's been a whirlwind. This was my first outing outside of the university, flew out here today so it's been fantastic," Angelos said. 

While Angelos has a number of longterm projects to oversee on the horizon — including the ongoing expansion of the T.C. Ching Athletic Complex — it was important to him to express his support of local high schools and their student-athletes at his earliest opportunity. 

"At all the stops I've had we've worked with the high schools because I just think we're all in the same business together and it's good to interface together with the local high schools and the kids to get them on your campus so that they'll want to come to school there, the student-athletes will want to come play for you there, but my kids all played high school sports, I played high school sports — I mean, it feeds up to the college level — so I'm a big supporter of that, that's why I really wanted to be here to get to know all the people in the industry because we're all working for the same goals for these young men and women," Angelos expressed. 

Angelos said that he was impressed by the camaraderie displayed by the ADs at Wednesday night's dinner. 

"Whenever you're in the bunker with somebody working on those same projects together, you become very close and align yourself in purpose and that's what I've seen here and these guys have dedicated their lives to it. These guys have been doing it for years and years and so I just think they love what they do and that's what I've seen tonight," he said. 

Even before he was confirmed by the Board of Regents for the AD position, Angelos said that HIADA Executive Director Bill Villa contacted him about serving as the keynote speaker. 

"He reached out to me the day I got named and asked if I could be here and that was the first thing I put on my calendar," he said. "I was like, ‘I'm gonna be there as the first activity because there's a hundred schools, a hundred ADs out here and I want to be a part of it and work with them, so I'm just really happy to be here."


Earlier Wednesday afternoon athletic directors reconvened for another round of voting in one of four groups, or committees. 

Of the 30-or-so concerns/proposals that ADs are addressing this week, two of the more tightly-contested items pertain to track and field. Group 3, which is assigned to all concerns related to spring sports, met in a closed-door committee meeting and according to several ADs in the room, both items were narrowly defeated.

The first proposal seeks to add the 4x800-meter relay event to the lineup of races at the state championship meet. Both the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and Big Island Interscholastic Federation introduced similar proposals in the hopes of including the relay for the 2023-2024 school year. Although it did not pass out of committee Wednesday, it is expected to be brought to Thursday's final general assembly — where all 95 ADs in attendance this week will have the opportunity to cast a vote in favor or against the measure — as a minority report. 

The other proposal that was discussed at length in Group 3 Wednesday sought to expand the number of finalists that earn points for his or her team at the state championship meet from the top six finishers to the top eight. Essentially, it would assure that all eight finalists will accrue points toward their team's total. It was defeated by a count of 19 votes in favor and 20 against. Both the ILH and BIIF were for the proposal, while the Maui Interscholastic League and Oahu Interscholastic Association were opposed to it. 

Also in Group 3 Wednesday, the committee overwhelmingly voted in favor of adopting a 30-second shot clock for all state tournament matches. A 35-second shot clock is currently in use. 

Proposals that gain HIADA approval at Thursday morning's general assembly will be forwarded to the HHSAA Executive Board, which meets in the afternoon and can approve, amend or deny any HIADA recommendation.

From left to right: John Altomare on behalf of Jon Kobayashi (Waimea), Raymond Fujino (OIA), Wally Marciel (Kailua), Reid Shigemasa Pearl City, NIAAA State Award of Merit), Earl Kishimoto (track & field/cross country official), John Rosa and Loriann Avilla-Rosa (Waialua). Each was honored with a HIADA Award for their numerous contributions to high school athletics. Brien Ing | SL    Purchase image


At Wednesday night's awards dinner, six individuals were recognized for their contributions to high school athletics. Receiving the coaches' awards were longtime Waialua boys soccer coach John Rosa and Kailua boys basketball coach Wally Marciel. Also recognized with a special service award was cross country and track and field official Earl Kishimoto. Waimea athletic director Jon Kobayashi and OIA Executive Director Ray Fujino were honored with administrator awards, while Pearl City AD Reid Shigemasa was given the NIAAA Award of Merit.

Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Lihue received backpacks that were collected by athletic directors at this year's HIADA conference. Courtesy Greg Gonsalves    View image


Earlier in the week, many athletic directors took part in professional development workshops, but they also found time to conduct a backpack drive that benefitted the Boys and Girls Club of Kauai. More than 100 backpacks were collected and donated to three branches in Lihue, Kapaa and Waimea. Additionally, more than $100 in cash was also donated to the Boys and Girls Club.

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].

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