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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Murakami will be honored May 19 at Rainbow Stadium

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

His health permitting, University of Hawai'i baseball coach Les Murakami is scheduled to make an appearance at Rainbow Stadium for the Rainbows' final home game of the season on May 19, according to a UH spokesman.

Prior to his stroke last November, Hawai'i baseball coach Les Murakami said this season would be his last.

Advertiser library photo • May 12, 2000

The game is being promoted by UH as "Les Murakami Night."

Murakami has been rehabilitating from a debilitating stroke he suffered Nov. 2. He has not made a public appearance since. Long-time assistant Carl Furutani has been serving as acting coach.

The game time for UH's season finale against UH-Hilo has been moved from 2:05 p.m. to 6 p.m. KFVE will air a 15-minute special that night. The first pitch will be tossed at about 6:15 p.m., UH spokesman Markus Owens said.

During the third inning, the game will be stopped for a brief ceremony to honor Murakami, according to UH athletics director Hugh Yoshida.

At the end of the 2000 season, Murakami announced that this would be his final season as coach.

Murakami is the only Division I coach UH has had. He started the program in 1971 with a field, uniforms and or equipment. But by 1975, the original Rainbow Stadium was built for $1.3 million and the Rainbows were playing a full-time Division I schedule. The present Rainbow Stadium was built in 1984 and a year later, artificial turf was installed, bringing the total cost to $12.2 million.

During his 30 seasons, Murakami compiled a 1,079-570-4 record. Among his teams' accomplishments were a second-place finish in the 1980 College World Series, 11 regional appearances and six Western Athletic Conference championships.