(HPU Athletics) - Hawai'i Pacific University today announced that Executive Director of Athletics Vince Baldemor will be leaving the university at the end of his contract in July. Vice President of University Relations Sam Moku has been named the acting Director of Athletics.
"We are deeply grateful to Vince for his service to HPU," said Hawai'i Pacific University President John Y. Gotanda. "We look forward to the leadership and continued success that Sam will bring to our Sharks athletic program."
Moku will begin serving as acting director of athletics starting July 3 and will retain his responsibilities for government relations on behalf of the university while fulfilling the role of director of athletics. He was a four-year letterman as a defensive back for coach Dick Tomey at the University of Hawai'i, twice named to the Warrior Club and a Warrior of the Year in 1986. Moku has also served as Kamehameha Schools' head coach for boys track and field for 14 years, bringing them three state championships under his leadership. Moku has served the university since 2013.
"Sports, education and community are three of the biggest influences in my life," said Moku. "I'm excited to serve all these priorities in my new role and particularly to develop our recruitment strategy for local athletes."
Under Baldemor's leadership, the Sharks have seen a continual increase in the academic success of the more than 250 student-athletes, with the combined grade point average for the athletics department increasing from 2.98 to 3.20. He has also led the coaching staff to National Coach of the Year Awards four times and PacWest Coach of the Year Awards eight times.
"I want to thank President Gotanda for allowing me to serve HPU and work with our amazing coaches, staff and student-athletes," said Baldemor. "We were able to accomplish great things during my tenure and I'll always appreciate that we did it as a family. More success lies ahead for the department under acting AD Sam Moku and I look forward to cheering on our teams as they continue to represent HPU locally and nationally. Go Sharks!"
In the past five years, HPU has won an NCAA Division II National Championship in men's tennis, 11 PacWest Conference Championships, three PacWest Hawai'i Challenge titles and two PacWest Conference Diversity Awards. The Sharks have had 44 All-Americans and three Google Cloud Academic All-Americans®, an NCAA Division II Woman of the Year Award Finalist and a Nominee for the Honda Division II Woman Athlete of the Year.