The Punahou basketball community lost a great one recently with the death of Charles “Bud” Scott on June 22.
Scott, the winningest coach in the long and storied history of the Buffanblu hoops program, was 88. He also coached at Laupahoehoe and Hilo on the Big Island, and finished with a career mark of 224-59. His involvement in Hawaii high school athleteics spanned from 1952 to 1991.
In 2014, Scott was given the Ka‘i Alapa Award by the Punahou O-Men, presented to one person annually since 2012 to those who have made significant contributions to the Punahou athletic department.
At the time of that award, Chris McLachlin, who coached volleyball and basketball at Punahou for nearly four decades, said to Scott: “You taught me that there are only two things that really matter as a coach: organization and enthusiasm, and you have both of them.”
Scott also served as associate athletic director at Punahou, from 1978 until he retired in 1991.
The people who Scott has coached or coached with form a veritable who’s who of Punahou and statewide athletics. Aside from McLachlin are Dave Eldredge, Pal Eldredge, Kale Ane, Mosi Tatupu, Norm Chow, Charlie Wedemeyer and Duane Akina, among many others.
In his run as Punahou’s head varsity basketball coach from 1959 through 1974 (with the exception of 1962, when he took a leave to complete his masters degree at the University of Washington), 1970 may have been the high mark.
“Punahou’s first state championship in 1970 was sweet,” his son, Kyle Scott, wrote in an email to Hawaii Prep World. “Farrington was the team to beat as it had beaten Punahou to win the ILH championship. During warmups, assistant coach Norby Mendes pointed out that the old HIC scoreboard was hanging lower than usual. I saw that too. Dad looked up and just smiled. The game was hard fought. Punahou took the lead, gaining a spurt from its full-court press. Sure enough, when Farrington was making a run, (the Governors’) Cliff Laboy threw the ball what would have been the length of the court. But the ball hit the low hanging scoreboard. (The referee) signaled the ball out of bounds, Punahou’s ball. No comeback. Laboy eventually fouled out.”
The 1974 state title team was also special, according to Kyle Scott.
“Dad considered his 1974 state championship team one of Punahou’s best,” Kyle wrote in the email. “It featured starters James Kaimikaua, Duane Akina, Mosi Tatupu, Ia Saipaia and Keith Uperesa. Winning the state championship was part of that assessment, but what I think really endeared this team to dad was their unselfish play. They hustled, communicated on the court, and let the hot hand take the lead depending on the game situation. Duane Akina said to me recently regarding the 1974 team, “He took a bunch of good athletes in ’74 and turned them into a disciplined, fundamental basketball team.”
Bud Scott, who was raised in Seattle before moving to Hawaii in 1952, was a baseball enthusiast before tuning into basketball. He eventually became a student of the hardwood game.
Wrote Kyle: “He traveled to the mainland to visit national coaches for their speeches or to their clinics. Once, during a lecture by John Wooden, he left with 15 pages of handwritten notes. He also wrote articles for various coaching and interscholastic publications. Dad scripted every practice in great detail, sometimes down to five or seven minutes for an activity. He used team conditioning as a competitive advantage, focused on fundamentals, man to man and full-court defense, and teamwork. I remember watching dad’s practices. How he energetically managed the flow, blowing his whistle, jumping in to show how it’s done, demonstrating something as basic as footwork, or teaching the rocker step. And, he would speed down the court himself to show a player what full speed meant. And, of course, good citizenship and being a model student-athlete were important and something he stressed as a team condition.”
Akina, now the defensive backs coach at Stanford, credited his own father as being the coach that influenced him the most in a TexasSports.com interview in 2007. Asked who else had a big impact, and Akina’s answer was, “I would say my high school basketball coach, Bud Scott, who was a fundamentally driven kind of guy.”
Bud Scott played in the Hawaii Baseball League for the Cosmopolitan Hawks at Honolulu Stadium. He also coached track and field, golf and intermediate and JV baseball at Punahou.
Aside from the two state titles with Punahou, he led the Buffablu to five ILH crowns (1964, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973). He also earned one Big Island Interscholastic Federation championship, with Hilo in 1957.
Other notables who Charles “Bud Scott” coached include:
>> Norman Mizuguchi, former state senator
>> Dr. Jim Scott, Punahou head of school
>> Hisao Sato, former Laupahoehoe athletic director who is in the Oregon high school baseball coaches hall of fame
>> Robert Stevens, former Radford principal
>> Danny Ayala, former Big Island fire chief
>> Larry Johnson, former Bank of Hawaii CEO