Mahalo to Coach Todd Rickard
He is a man that manifests the strength and solidarity of the Lahaina community. He comes from a family that has long represented the integrity and care that courses through the cohesive personality of our Island home.
In so many ways, the Rickards of Lahaina have contributed to the richness of our lives on the West Side, and Lahainaluna High School girls basketball coach Todd Rickard is one of the many mentors among them who have led the way to the quality of life enjoyed here today.
After an unprecedented 26-year career as the Lady Lunas’ head coach, Rickard announced his retirement two weeks ago amidst the emotional frustration of public life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coach Todd cited the ever-morphing pandemic protocols and resulting changes and cancellations — including the entire athletic competition year of 2020 — and the current hide-and-seek maneuverings of the federal government, the state Department of Education, as well as county protocols in the complex confusion.
But there is no doubt that his sterling run as the Lady Lunas’ leader will remain as a legendary example of the aloha that courses through the collective community in which we live.
In those 26 years, he guided the program to 19 Maui Interscholastic League championships, including the last 16 consecutive titles, and an unprecedented Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I state championship in 2010. This includes an all sport 164-win MIL streak that was ended in 2020.
Moreover, dozens of West Side families benefitted from Coach Todd and the Lahainaluna program’s influence as golden pathways to higher education and hoop dreams beyond high school.
That list includes Lady Luna student-athletes from all walks of life and limited financial standing that were able to obtain college educations and maturity through their hoops experience at Lahainaluna.
That list includes, but is not limited to, the following: Fatai Halaapiapi, Aina Kohler, Tasha Pagdilao, Kelci Fushikoshi, Krystle Omlan, Monika Vehikite, Monique Blando, Milika Taufa, Rachael Rickard, Maiki Tihada, Hiilei Bacalso, Ana Lauese, Jade Chihara, Makana Kaaikala, Loke Basques, Keleah Koloi, Fiemea Hafoka, Cameron Fernandez, Folau Hafoka, Breanna Estabillo, Keiko Aotaki, Rachel Balagso, Susi Namoa, Abby Akamine and Ashley Akamine.
There are countless other Lady Lunas that made up the program and experienced the life-changing influence of the discipline, intensity and courage that were the pillars of Coach Todd’s leadership.
Lahainaluna Athletic Director Scott Soldwisch, who was a constant observer of the team throughout those campaigns, said, “Nobody outworked the Lady Lunas. Coach Todd built the program to include off-season programs to prepare the student-athletes at the highest levels for those championship runs.”
“We so appreciate all he’s done for the kids of the school, and I want him to know that it was a pleasure to work with him throughout those years. It was great, and we are sorry to see him go and wish him all the best for his future.”
Indeed, the entire Lahaina community sends a heartfelt mahalo to Coach Todd Rickard. Imua Lady Lunas! (By Walter Chihara)