HPA’s Stan Shutes, an end of an Era in BIIF cross country and track
“School ended early one day and my dad hadn’t gotten the word to pick me up at a different time, so I started to walk home,” he said. “My dad finally found me a half-mile from our house after I’d walked four and a half miles by myself.”
Shutes claims that he can still remember walking home at age 5.
“It was quite an adventure,” he said.
Shutes won a competitive congressional appointment to West Point. While there, he represented his cadet company in boxing, water polo, golf, tennis and softball.
General Douglas MacArthur, at age 84, gave his famous “Duty, Honor, Country” speech in the dining hall, just three weeks before Shutes’ graduation.
Shutes went on to complete Ranger Training at Fort Benning, Georgia and those that graduated, including Shutes, went on to U.S. Army parachute school.
After serving in combat missions in Vietnam, he and his wife, Sharon, were married in Honolulu in 1965.
It was during a rest and recreation visit from Vietnam to Hawaii that Sharon and Stan realized that this was where they’d like to return to live.
In 1968, Shutes completed his active duty obligations and returned to San Francisco to attend graduate school.
“I earned my M.A. in Southeast Asian History and under the advice of a friend who had attended Punahou School, I applied to HPA and was hired by its longtime Headmaster, James M. Taylor,” Shutes said.
When Shutes came to HPA in 1969 all teachers were required to coach three sports and he was assigned to the to the football, basketball and track programs.
The following year Hawaii Prep lowered the coaching requirement to two sports. The school also became co-educational and he was assigned to boys cross country and track.
“Learning to be a good coach was easier in cross country because it was only one event,” he said. “Track consisted of 16 events and it was necessary to be knowledgeable in all 16.”
Shutes became an outstanding coach, winning 36 league titles, and two state titles: boys cross country in 1983 and girls’ track in ’95. Six times his teams were the state runner up. The ’83 win was HPA’s first state championship in any sport.
Now, 70 years of age and married to Sharon for 46 years, the couple’s two children, Andrew and Christina, have given them five grandchildren.
In 2005, Shutes’ disease metastasized and he has received treatment and participated in trials, for the most part, through The Angeles Clinic in Los Angeles.
“I have been fortunate to receive several of the melanoma drugs that have received attention in the media recently,” Shutes said.
Despite his disease, Shutes has remained engaged in life as he golf’s twice a week with his friends, even if it means riding in a cart and putting a few greens.
“Stan told me that he did not want his disease to control our lives,” Sharon said. “He has made sure this did not happen. His sense of humor has never left him and it has allowed us to have frank discussions about what some might find uncomfortable topics.”
For Stan Shutes, his one major disappointment in all of this has been that he may not be able to fulfill one special role.
“My role as grandparent to my five grandchildren may not be fulfilled,” he said. “I always wanted that important role to include skipping rocks with them in the ocean, feeding them ice cream for breakfast, and searching for four leaf clovers together.”
Shutes is currently under hospice care at his Waimea home. But no matter what happens in the short-term future, his decades of teaching and working with others, young and old, plus his lifelong experiences and love for family, only underlines how much he has meant to those individuals and teams he has shared time with.
Related link: Stan passed on 9/9/11 https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/long-time-hawaii-prep-coach-stan-shutes-succumbs-to-cancer/