Albritton dies at age 50
By ROBERT COLLIAS, Staff Writer
WAILUKU – Terry Albritton won’t be forgotten anytime soon at St. Anthony High School.
The teacher for 14 years and former assistant football coach at the school died of a heart attack in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Sept. 1. He was 50.
“Terry was a true renaissance man,’’ St. Anthony athletic director Jim Klaczak said. “He handled everything. He did strength and conditioning. He taught health. He was a writer and a poet, besides being just a bear of a man. He was a fixture. Everybody knew where he was. You would see him at church or you would see him around the campus. Everybody knew who he was – he was just a fixture around here for so many years.’’
Albritton set the world record in the shot put while competing for the University of Hawaii in 1976. His mark of 71 feet, 8 1/2 inches at Cooke Field broke Al Fuerbach’s world record by 1 1/2 inches. Albritton still holds the world indoor junior record of 68-0 that he set in New York on Feb. 22, 1974.
He coached football for several years at St. Anthony in the 1990s and had talked of returning to coaching with Klaczak, the Pac-3 head coach. Klaczak received an e-mail from Albritton’s son, Shane, on Tuesday, confirming his death.
Albritton was a two-time national shot put champion, winning the title in 1976 and 1977. He was the national runner-up in 1975.
In a three-week period he won the 1976 AAU and NCAA indoor titles while competing for UH. Albritton started his college career at Stanford and is a member of that school’s athletic hall of fame. Later, he was a strength coach at UH for six years.
Klaczak said that many of the students at St. Anthony simply thought of Albritton as one of their teachers.
“He really kept a low profile,’’ Klaczak said. “When his son was here (in the 1990s), I think more of those kids knew about it. I know when I got here, we started to bring it back because he was a world record holder, he was world renowned as a shot putter. He is not only a former (world record holder), he still holds junior records and he used to kid everybody that his junior indoor record will never be broken. He was so far advanced.’’
Klaczak said the school lost a valuable resource when Albritton left in June 2004 for Cambodia, where he was working on a book.
“I missed him already,’’ Klaczak said. “When I became Pac-3 coach he was going to join me, come on board as our strength coach, coach the defensive line. We talked about that for that entire spring and he was so excited. I really felt that he had been reborn in football. He was ready to come back and really get involved again. He was excited and this opportunity to go to (Cambodia) came up and he took it.’’
Albritton, born Jan. 14, 1955, in Newport Beach, Calif., is survived by two sons, Shane Albritton and Thomas Albritton; one grandson, Thomas Vaethroeder; two sisters, Lorelei Davies and Marla Ramirez Albritton; and a nephew, Terin Albritton.