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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, June 2, 2001

Kroeger fired as Kamehameha basketball coach

By Dennis Anderson
Advertiser Staff Writer

Micah Kroeger led the Kamehameha boys basketball team to an 8-6 ILH record in his first year as head coach.

Advertiser library photo

The Kamehameha Schools has fired first-year boys basketball coach Micah Kroeger six weeks after the athletic director gave him a vote of confidence.

A Kamehameha spokes-man yesterday said principal Tony Ramos made this statement "on behalf of the administration:"

"For the last several months we have been reviewing Kamehameha's past basketball season, and an outcome of that review is that we have decided not to renew Coach Kroeger's contract for next year. Micah has brought much energy and focus to the program and we appreciate his contributions. We believe he has the potential to develop into an outstanding coach and we wish him well."

The spokesman, Kekoa Paulsen, said Kamehameha "cannot elaborate further on this decision because it involves a personnel action."

Kroeger said he was surprised by the contents of the press release, and said his attorney advised him not to comment at this time.

Kroeger, 25, a former University of Hawai'i standout in his first head coaching assignment, was hired last September to replace James Winchester, whose contract was not renewed after 19 years as head boys coach at Kamehameha.

Kroeger's team had an 8-6 record and finished fourth in the seven-team Interscholastic League of Honolulu.

He was suspended for several days, including one game, in February after the team boycotted practice and some parents complained that he was overly strict.

But in mid-April, co-athletic director Blane Gaison said, "Micah will be back. What happened is water under the bridge. . ."

Gaison was attending an ethics conference this week and could not be reached for comment.

Another person close to the program, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said disgruntled parents were the catalysts for Kroeger's dismissal and the process was unfair to Kroeger. "He did not receive due process," the source said.

Kroeger is the second boys basketball coach in the private-school ILH, considered the state's best high school league, to be released this year. Garrett Gabriel, a former UH quarterback, resigned suddenly as a teacher and coach at Maryknoll for undisclosed reasons in March.

Kamehameha intends to hire a new coach by October, Paulsen said.