APRIL 20, 1939: McKinley’s Young Suk Ko breaks shot put record

Before he became Hawaii’s athletic director, Young Suk Ko of McKinley was quite an athlete. He starred in football, basketball, baseball and track and field for the school while climbing up the ranks of the boy scouts.

On this day in 1939, Ko put the shot 50 feet, 2 inches to break the record by more than five feet as McKinley won a track and field meet at Alexander Field.

Three other records were broken that day.


Ko went on to be named athletic director at Manoa from 1962-66, hiring such big names as Red Rocha, Larry Price and Donnis Thompson before he was fired in a power move by administrative assistant Kenneth Lau, who hired Phil Sarboe as football coach and made him athletic director as well. Ko favored Al Lewis for the spot and it cost him his job, leading him to be demoted to head of the school’s intramural program.


Ko played football for a year at UH before transferring to Minnesota. Ko died on Thanksgiving day in 2004.


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