Dudley steps down as Lunas’ coach

Lahainaluna High School boys basketball coach John Dudley has resigned after four seasons that included a Maui Interscholastic League title in 2011 and two trips to the state tournament.

Dudley, who had an 87-38 record with the Lunas, said his decision stems from his growing family and photography business. He has four sons, all living on the Mainland, and twins expected this spring will give him four grandchildren.

“My kids are all on the Mainland,” Dudley said Monday. “And, you know, basketball is right during the holidays, Christmas and everything. And my business is growing pretty quick.

“To be the head coach, especially at Lahainaluna, it takes a lot of time put in to do it right. At Lahainaluna, you have the varsity, you have the JV and you have the Menehune program. To be fair to the kids, they need someone to take them to that next level – they need somebody that can give them 24/7.”

The 2013-14 team, which went 1-2 at the state tournament, had four seniors, but only point guard Nick Vierra was a starter.

“This is a hard roster to leave, believe me,” Dudley said.

His photography business has grown to 20 employees.

“This is the first year where it really became clear to me that in order for the Lunas to really succeed, go to the next level so to speak, they need a full-time guy who can give full dedication,” Dudley said. “I just don’t have that, but they will be in good hands.”

Lahainaluna athletic director Scott Soldwisch said a successor may not be found until the spring.

“It’s sad to see him go,” Soldwisch said. “He’s not only a coach, he’s a friend, but I knew going in when he came to coach with us that it was going to be four or five years at the most. I just want to express my thanks to him for his service to our school and to our students and wish him the best.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com