Pacheco Bent On A Successful Hoops Season With Nanakuli

If Wes Pacheco’s coaching career to this point was to be summed up in a phrase, it would invariably be that of a program builder.

The longtime Campbell High School defensive coordinator has been a key piece in the Sabers’ and head coach Amosa Amosa’s football revival through the years.

Most recently, Pacheco guided the Island Pacific Academy girls basketball program to last year’s 9-3, a school best.

His latest challenge is as the head boys basketball coach at Nanakuli High School, where he also is head of the social studies department.

“I felt bad to leave Island Pacific Academy — they are going to have a great team this year — but the ultimate goal is to be able to teach at the school you coach, which is something I have missed the last few years at Campbell,” said Pacheco, who lives in Ewa Beach. “The more adult supervision the kids can have, the more positive experience they can receive. Sometimes the classroom is not enough for kids. We want them to be part of a positive environment in the two hours a day they are in the gym so they will want to come back the next day.

“It’s all about the kids, at this point. I’m happy to have a chance to affect their lives.”

Pacheco will continue to coach football at Campbell during the fall. The Sabers have been surging as a program since he and Amosa arrived back at their alma mater and finished 7-4 this past season.

“We have similar philosophies, and that carries over (to coaching basketball),” he said. “We really have helped each other evolve at Campbell.

“When you strip away all of the wins and losses, we talk about character and lessons learned. We have had a lot of individual success stories.”

Pacheco hopes to have similar success with Nanakuli on the hardwood, but the program is at ground zero at present.

The Golden Hawks went winless in 2013-14 at 0-10.

“This is my third year teaching there, and I’m totally invested in the kids,” said Pacheco. “They have big hearts. In terms of the basketball program, we want to create change and make it exciting to play basketball at Nanakuli. We want a similar vibe to what we had at Island Pacific Academy.”

The early days on the job have been encouraging for Pacheco, he acknowledged.

“During the whole month of November we did conditioning,” he said. “We had 42 kids come out, and that’s an all-time high for us.

“We have 15 boys on the junior varsity team now and 15 boys on the varsity.”

Pacheco will build his first Nanakuli boys basketball team around seniors Iverson Sione and Joshua Lincoln, who both earned honorable mention in the Oahu Interscholastic Association boys basketball All-Stars Eastern Division last season.

“They will be dynamic for us,” he said. “One of them should be the OIA DII Player of the Year.

As with the girls’ coach at Island Pacific Academy, Pacheco has loaded Nanakuli High School’s preseason slate with 14 games.

“We will get to play all over the island and, hopefully, that will get us ready,” he added.