Now, Wells prepares to lead
the HPU Sea Warriors as head coach for the 2005-06 season.
He came on as an assistant coach last year, and accepted the
head coaching position when J.D. Barnett resigned. Wells became
the university’s eighth head basketball coach, the third
in three years.
Wells looks to spark a turnaround from the 2004-05 season in
which the Sea Warriors went a disappointing 10-16. He’s
used to perseverance and recovery.
Wells was diagnosed with Berger’s disease, a rare kidney
disorder, for which he underwent a successful transplant last
spring. He received the kidney, and the gift of renewed life,
from his wife Shawne. Because of his success this story gained
a great deal of attention and national publicity, and even the
interest of some film producers.
This time around, Wells has some new coaches and he has reorganized
his coaching staff. He also has an abundance of new talent to
catapult a turnaround and breathe life into a program that was
once heralded for the best college basketball team in Hawai‘i.
To date, the roster has 13 first-year and four returning players.
Wells has said that this team’s expectations are to be
the best offensive fast-break and defensive full-court-press
team in the conference. “Our general goals are to be competitive
and to play as a team at all times,” Wells said.
Many consider Wells the “traditionalist” type of
coach. He does not allow player attitudes to overshadow his control
over the team. “I run the basketball team the same way
I do my family,” Wells said. “They have plenty of
room to mature, but there are lines in the sand. And both my
kids and my players know where those lines are.”
During his high school coaching tenure, Wells had to cut the
leading scorer on each of his teams for academic or behavioral
reasons. Playing for Wells will afford numerous opportunities
for personal talents to shine, as long as the individualism “does
not compromise the teams’ goals,” he said. Still,
Wells added, he likes to have an athletic team that plays an
up-tempo style of basketball.
The second scrimmage of the season is tonight against Australia
Under 22 at the Mid-Pacific Institute. The game starts at 7:30