The Dr. Alvin and Monica Saake Foundation was established in 2005 and provides continuous support funds for the University of Hawai‘i Athletic programs and scholarship funds to students in Athletic Training.
The University of Hawai‘i Athletic Department has recently named the athletic training room Dr. Alvin and Monica Saake Training Room in honor of their continuous gifts since Dr. Saake’s death.
Dr.Alvin Saake and former Monica Donna Morris were married in 1950 and enjoyed traveling and watching sports together.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Alvin Saake was valedictorian of Millerton High School in 1933. He attended Princeton University and the University of Alabama before graduating from Ithaca College in 1937. A star player on Ithaca’s basketball team, Saake also played on the football and team and was inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. Saake earned both his M.A. (1947) and Ed.D. (1954) from New York University. He first came to Hawai‘i as a naval officer during World War II. He was discharged with the rank of lieutenant commander and made Hawai‘i his home in 1947.
Alvin Saake began his career at UH as an assistant professor of physical education in 1947. In 1955, he was selected as chairman of the department of health, physical education and recreation in the College of Education.He retired from UH in 1990 as emeritus professor of health, physical education and recreation.
Saake coached the UH basketball team for nine years: 1951- 54 and again in 1957-63. Under his leadership, the basketball team undertook a rigorous collegiate schedule that elevated it from a club-level sport and played teams that would later make up the Pac-10. Saake pioneered the 2-3 zone defense and is considered the "father of Division 1 basketball in Hawai‘i."
His love for Hawai‘i will continue to make an impact at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa with the vision of his estate plan.
From left: Dr. Dennis Chai, UH Athletics Director Jim Donovan, and Paster Elwin Ahu.
Photo courtesy of UH Media Relations.