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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, June 2, 2006

Pohai Lee will lead Damien athletics

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Thomas Pohaikealoha Lee

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Thomas Pohaikealoha Lee yesterday was named as Damien Memorial School's athletic director.

Lee, 40, who goes by Pohai, succeeds Herb Lloyd and Mike Normand. "I'm thankful for the opportunity Damien is giving me," Lee said. "It's a big challenge, but I look forward to it."

Lee is the son of Montana-Western head football coach Tommy Lee, and the nephew of University of Hawai'i assistant football coaches Ron Lee and Cal Lee.

Pohai Lee was selected from an original pool of 16 candidates. The search committee narrowed the list to five, and each of the finalists was invited for an interview.

Michael Weaver, the principal of the high school, was impressed with Lee's experience at the college, high school and middle school levels. Lee will oversee Damien's high school and intermediate sports programs.

"And his college experience will help when our kids are looking at colleges," Weaver said. "That was a big plus."

Lee was a receiver on the Saint Louis team that won the 1983 O'ahu Prep Bowl.

He also is a graduate of the University of Montana, where he played for his father.

He was quarterbacks coach and assistant baseball coach at Western Oregon, and quarterbacks coach at Thomas More in Kentucky. As head coach of Saint Louis' intermediate football teams, he amassed a record of 21-6-2.

He currently teaches at Mai Waena Intermediate School and serves as offensive coordinator for Baldwin's football team. The Bears have won three of the past four Maui Interscholastic League football titles.

Lee said he does not have a starting date at Damien. He also said he does not know if he will be involved in coaching the football team. The Monarchs' head coach is Dean Nakagawa. Three members of the Monarchs' 2005 team received Division I scholarships.

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.