Kalāheo picks Hess as boys hoops coach
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Longtime high school and college basketball coach Chic Hess has been hired as head coach for Kalāheo High School's boys hoops program, athletic director Mark Brilhante announced yesterday.
Hess, 66, replaces Chico Furtado, who stepped down at the end of this past season after seven years at the helm. Before becoming Kalāheo's head coach, Furtado was a top assistant to Pete Smith, who guided the Mustangs to 11 O'ahu Interscholastic Association titles between 1991 and 2003.
Kalāheo's string of 19 consecutive state tournament berths — believed to be a Hawai'i basketball record — ended last month.
"I hope to keep up the tradition that Pete started," said Hess, whose son, Steve, played four years under Smith and was a point guard on the Mustangs' 1995 state championship team. "The court (at Kalāheo Gym) is named after Pete, and that gives me chicken skin."
Hess has an extensive resume that almost makes him a coaching legend himself. He had 230 wins and 81 losses in eight seasons at Lebanon (Pa.) High School, where he has been inducted into the school's sports Hall of Fame.
One of his players at Lebanon was Sam Bowie, who went on to an All-America career at the University of Kentucky and was the No. 2 pick in the 1984 NBA draft — one spot ahead of Michael Jordan.
Hess later became head coach at Brigham Young-Hawai'i, winning NAIA District 29 Coach of the Year honors in 1989. In 1991, he was named Junior College Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches after a successful season at Arizona Western.
Hess eventually moved to Kailua, where he has been running clinics for kids from around the island. He spent this past season as head coach at Academy of the Pacific, guiding the Dolphins to a surprising 15-3 runner-up finish in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II race and a rare DII state tournament berth.
Kalāheo went 8-5 in the OIA this past season, but its JV team went 0-12.
"Some rebuilding needs to go on, but we've still got good players out here," Hess said. "I'm not foreign to Kalāheo, a lot of the kids know me and I know them ... the parents who know me, know I value education and discipline."
Read his blog on high school sports at http://preptalk.honadvblogs.com.