LEGENDARY LOCAL SPORTSCASTER JIM LEAHEY AND
FORMER CHAMINADE ATHLETICS DIRECTOR MIKE VASCONCELLOS TO BE HONORED
Friday, March 16, 2012, starting at 6:00 p.m., at the Pacific Beach Hotel (Grand Ballroom)
HONOLULU – Chaminade University has selected legendary local sportscaster Jim Leahey and former Chaminade athletics director Mike Vasconcellos as the 2012 inductees into its Silversword Hall of Fame. The two will be honored at Chaminade University’s fourth Annual Athletics Gala Event on Friday, March 16, 2012, starting at 6:00 p.m., at the Pacific Beach Hotel (Grand Ballroom).
“We are delighted to recognize Jim Leahey and Mike Vasconcellos as our newest inductees,” said Chaminade president Bro. Bernard Ploeger, SM. “Both exemplify an enduring sense of family spirit and have lasting legacies in local sports. Hawaii’s sports would not be the same without them. Jim continues to fire up our passion for local sports, and Mike helped ignite the name of Chaminade on the world map with the Maui Invitational.”
Jim Leahey graduated from Saint Louis School and attended Chaminade College in the early 1960s before transferring to the University of San Francisco where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He served in Viet Nam, later became a teacher at Campbell High School while working for KITV, and then worked full time for KGMB. He has spent decades on television and radio giving play by play actions of countless games to the local community. For many, he is the voice of sports in Hawaii. As Chuck Leahey’s son and Kanoa Leahey’s dad, he is also part of a proud three generation family of sportscasters. But probably the best part of his life is that he is the blessed husband of Chaminade alumna Toni Leahey.
Mike Vasconcellos was Chaminade’s athletics director in the 1980s. He was instrumental in hiring Merv Lopes, who coached the Silversword basketball team to a win against national champion Virginia. That December 23, 1982 victory rocked the sports world. After the game, Virginia head coach at the time, Terry Holland, suggested Vasconcellos start a Hawaii tournament. In 1984, the Maui Classic, now called the EA Sports Maui Invitational, began for the first time with Chaminade reaching the finals. The Maui Invitational is considered one of the premium college basketball pre-season tournaments in the nation.
Former Punahou baseball coach Pal Eldridge will be on hand to deliver a keynote speech, while special guest and former NFL head coach Dick Vermeil, who led the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl victory in 1999, will also be in attendance to help celebrate the event.
The gala events have raised more than $400,000 to support Chaminade’s athletic program. Previous inductees have included Coach Merv Lopes, Dr. Larry Price, and Chief Lee Donohue. Go to www.goswords.com for more information on Chaminade’s intercollegiate athletics gala or on Chaminade’s booster club Hui ‘Ahinahina or for the Maui Invitational. Or contact Ryan Hirata by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (808)-735-4764.