Smith returns to coach Kalāheo
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
After 16 years away making his mark as a University of Hawai'i basketball standout and most recently as head coach at Punahou School, Alika Smith is "going home."
Smith stepped down after one season at Punahou yesterday to accept the head coach position at Kalāheo, where he was a three-time Advertiser All-State first-team selection from 1992 through 1994.
Smith's late father, Pete, was Kalāheo's head coach for 18 seasons and guided the Mustangs into the state tournament every single year, winning it all in 1985, 1995 and 2000.
Pete Smith retired after the 2003 season as one of Hawai'i's all-time winningest coaches, and Kalāheo's home court was named "Pete Smith Court" in 2007.
Alika Smith replaces Chico Furtado, who was Pete Smith's top assistant from 1990 through 2003 and the Mustangs' head coach for the past seven seasons. Former longtime high school and college coach Chic Hess originally was hired as Furtado's replacement on April 8, but Hess resigned two weeks later.
Smith guided Punahou to a 14-4 record in the regular and postseason, including a third-place finish in the state tournament. He coached at the Academy of the Pacific the year before.
Punahou athletic director Jeaney Garcia said Smith "wanted to go back home."
"We wanted to be supportive," Garcia said. "It's an opportunity for him to step back into a school and area where his dad is a legend."
Garcia said she and her staff will meet Tuesday to discuss a search for Smith's replacement.
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