Athletic Service Awards Honor Three Longtime Champions of the Buff ’n Blue

Camila Chaudron ’08

May 18, 2015

Three longtime Punahou teachers and coaches, Doug Bennett, Pal Eldredge ’64 and Chris McLachlin ’64, were each presented with an Athletic Service Award for their “significant contributions to the Punahou community,” said Associate Athletics Director Kale Ane ’71 during an award ceremony in their honor. Over 100 friends, family and members of the Punahou O-Men gathered to show their appreciation for the awardees at the President’s Pavilion on May 14, 2015.

“When I speak to our students I always remind them that they stand on the shoulders of giants,” said Punahou President Jim Scott ’70. “Tonight we honor three of those giants.” Several previous recipients of the Athletic Service Awards were also in attendance, including Vic Copeland, Doug Kilpatrick ’57 and Bud Scott.

President of the O-Men Jimmy Bennett ’96 presented the prestigious award to his father at the event, describing the senior Bennett as a genuine, loving and dedicated coach during his 32 years of service to the School. In addition to coaching football, baseball and tennis, Bennett was a basketball official, co-athletic director, president of the ILH board of directors and twice selected as the ILH coach of the year. He also led the effort to maximize athletic participation and create greater gender equity.

“I feel fortunate to be a part of the Punahou puzzle,” Bennett said upon accepting his award. “It’s been an honor and a pleasure to coach at Punahou, and I’m forever grateful.”

Mike Moss ’72 introduced Eldredge, also known as Mr. Baseball, whose “respect and love for the game, teammates and Punahou” touched countless lives and spans over six decades. Given Eldredge’s roles as a mentor, coach, teacher, musician and “volunteer extraordinarie, Pal is a complete human being,” Moss said.

Eldredge has coached Punahou baseball, football and basketball at all levels and won “league, state, national and world championships.” He also helps organize the Flaming “P” rally and serves as the music director at the annual Holoku Pageant. “I’m a fortunate guy,” Eldredge said humbly, “to be honored alongside two great friends, Chris and Doug.”

McLachlin, the third awardee, was introduced by former Athletic Director Tom Holden: “Chris makes your passion his passion. He uses sports to teach life lessons, which is where it gets interesting and challenging.” Holden included comments from fellow Punahou colleagues in his address, including water polo coach Ken Smith, who called McLachlin “a consummate coach in mind, body and spirit.”

At Punahou, he coached volleyball, basketball, tennis and football, in addition to serving as athletic director and teaching fourth grade, elementary PE, sports psychology, humanities and economics, among others. “Chris has left an unbelievable legacy,” Holden said. In his acceptance speech, McLachlin thanked his family for this “amazing honor,” in addition to the unsung heroes – the assistant coaches, administrators and locker room attendants. “Thank you, Punahou,” he said, “this award is deeply appreciated and brings warmth to my heart.”

Standing ovations were held for Bennett, Eldredge and McLachlin as they accepted their service awards. “We’re very proud of them,” Ane said. “They’ve been around for a while, and that’s a good thing.” As the ceremony drew to a close, the junior Bennett thanked guests for attending and commended the three honorees for their spirit and strong values: “Your legacy is long-lasting and far-reaching. Mahalo.”


  • 7/2/2015 8:59:53 AM

    Cool! Doug was part of our Wright ohana, married my cousin back in the '60s. You can see him in 1970 at our lu‘au on Moloka‘i:‘i/ – Kirby Wright


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