Haliniak leaving job as Molokai athletic director

Molokai High School athletic director Hoku Haliniak confirmed Monday that she is stepping down from the position to take a media relations job with the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.

Haliniak will begin at the HHSAA on Sept. 2.

“It was a really tough decision,” said Haliniak, who took over as Molokai AD in July 2012, succeeding Cami Kimball.

“The kids, of course – moving away from the kids, that was the hardest part of the decision.”

Molokai girls basketball coach Lee DeRouin will serve as the interim AD.

“I’m excited about doing that,” DeRouin said. “There are a lot of things that Hoku has in place that I hope to continue. She did a great job.”

DeRouin, who is also a teacher at the high school, said he is interested in being the permanent AD, but noted that the process “needs to run its course” and could include a nationwide search.

Haliniak has experience in sports media relations, having worked as an assistant sports information director at the University of Hawaii-Hilo. After that job, she was the athletic director at Laupahoehoe High School on the Big Island, and then went to Molokai.

The Friendly Isle had an increased role as a host for Maui Interscholastic League championships during Haliniak’s time at Molokai. During the 2013-14 school year, that included cross county and Division II softball. DeRouin said Mo-lokai is tentatively scheduled to host the league’s D-II girls volleyball and boys basketball tournaments in the current school year.

Haliniak’s work on Molokai also includes her role in January’s “Cheers for Molokai and Lanai High” fundraiser event on Oahu organized by Keith Amemiya, a former HHSAA executive director.

“I wanted to make sure we can continue some of the things we’ve done, and I think we can,” Haliniak said.