Dudoit ‘relieved’ of Baldwin baseball duties

Shane Dudoit holds up the 2018 state championship trophy at Les Murakami Stadium. Dudoit parted ways with Baldwin on Monday. The Maui News file photo

Shane Dudoit told The Maui News on Monday that he has been relieved of his duties as head baseball coach at Baldwin High School after a meeting with the school’s administration.

Dudoit, 47, led the Bears to three Maui Interscholastic League pennants, a state title in 2018 when the Bears finished ranked No. 8 in the nation by USA Today, and a state final four appearance in May in his three seasons at the Baldwin helm.

“I was relieved by the administration at Baldwin,” Dudoit said in a phone interview. “You know, how do you say it? It’s not fun to be told that you’re no longer needed as a head coach, but I also do understand that there is a chain of command, and it is the administration’s decision to seek out a new head coach for the Baldwin baseball program.”

He is a five-time MIL Coach of the Year and has coached in five state finals as a head coach at St. Anthony and assistant and head coach at Baldwin in a career that dates back to 2005. Besides the state title he guided the Bears to a year ago, he was the head assistant to Jon Viela in 2016 for the state champions.

He led St. Anthony to the overall MIL pennant and the Division II state title game in 2007.

He said he was not given a reason for the dismissal and that he received his annual evaluation last month and said “everything was fine and I had no idea I would be let go.”

“I respect the decision of the administration,” Dudoit said. “I’m not in the position to tell Baldwin what they should do about Baldwin athletics. I respect authority; I think everybody in this world should.”

Efforts to interview Baldwin Athletic Director Wade Hondo were not successful on Monday. In texts in the afternoon, Hondo said he was involved in meetings and later texted, “may have to talk tomorrow.”

Dudoit informed his coaching staff and players of the move soon after it happened. His son, Haku Dudoit, is a rising senior for the Bears.

“I’m not sure who will take over at Baldwin, I still have a lot of respect for the Baldwin program, we’ve done a lot of things there,” Dudoit said. “If asked to help out in the transition, I’d be more than happy to work with the new head coach in that transition.”

Dudoit was recently hired as a scout for the Texas Rangers organization and has plans to boost his baseball presence on the Valley Isle.

“I’m going to start working with Mike Diaz, the owner of Hitters Paradise, and we’re going to do this thing called BAM, and that’s the Baseball Academy of Maui,” Dudoit said. “We’re going to put together elite teams from Maui and hopefully get an indoor facility going soon and actually go one-on-one and help kids that want to go on to the next level. Even as a head coach, you’re working with 30, 40 kids at practice, so sometimes the one-on-one work does not get done as much as needed.”

Diaz played parts of four seasons in Major League Baseball, for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.

“So, working with Mike and working with Baseball Academy of Maui, and hopefully with some other guys here on Maui, that we can put together a good developmental facility that will help our kids move on to the next level,” Dudoit said.

Perhaps the hardest part for Dudoit was informing his returning players and coaching staff, which includes Tyson Higa, Kimo Higa, Dean Yamashita, Craig Okita, Aaron Loque and Isaiah Maddela.

“Whoever is chosen to be the next head coach should not have to inherit a staff,” Dudoit said. “Nor should I be forced on the next person that they decide to take over as head coach. If it is his choice to ask for help, I’m more than glad to offer what I’ve learned over the years. But as far as who stays on staff, that should be up to the next head coach.”

Dudoit recently returned from a baseball camp at Stanford University and was approached by “various colleges to assist in scouting talent, so staying busy in baseball will not be a problem.”

He admitted he will miss coaching Haku Dudoit for his senior season, “but I’m honestly going to miss coaching all of the kids. There’s a lot that comes into being a head coach: Dealing with parents is difficult, dealing with administration thinking differently is difficult.”

Dudoit feels that sports is an important part of the high school experience.

“I think we are as important as the teachers are in the classroom, with the baseball field being our classroom,” Dudoit said. “There’s things that can be taught on a baseball field that can’t be taught in a classroom: About teamwork, about how to work together, about how to get through difficulties in life. Those things don’t happen in the classroom — they happen out on the athletic field. . . . Athletics is a huge part of developing character amongst our students.”

He has certainly left a legacy at Baldwin.

“The memories at Baldwin are not necessarily the wins and the losses,” he said. “It’s just the camaraderie among the coaching staff, the friends and the relationships developed amongst coaches, friends and respect developed amongst opposing coaches — guys like Chase (Corniel), Mo Lau Hee, Mark Makimoto, guys that have been around a long time, like Lee Yonamine.

“Those guys have been around for a very long time, longer than I have been around. Just becoming friends and just the respect and camaraderie amongst each other — that cannot be taken away and that cannot be replaced.”

Dudoit went out of his way to thank Viela, who is now the athletic director at Kamehameha Maui, and former Baldwin coach and Athletic Director Kahai Shishido for hiring him in 2010.

He said he would be open to another opportunity to coach on Maui.

“I want to say nothing’s out of the question, braddah,” Dudoit said. “If the opportunity comes up, I’ll definitely take a look at it, see what’s best for me and my family.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.